by Heather Bock
You know all those weeds I’ve been writing about in my last four posts (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, here are my last posts: part one, part two, part three, and part four, phew!)? A large portion of them are spring weeds, and Texas springs are extremely short. They dissolve into summer faster than a prairie fire with a tail wind, faster than a scalded cat, faster than one-half less than no time, to use a few Texas phrases (can’t you just hear the twang?). I’m not too happy about short springs for the most part, but I can be thankful for one reason–that hot southern sun kills my spring weeds just as fast, certainly faster than I can pull them. It’s only April, and a bunch of mine are already looking more yellow than green.
In my last post, I wrote about how hard it is to do the work of pulling weeds. I stressed the importance of finding a weeding buddy. This is true, but when it comes down to the weeds of sin, no one can totally get rid of them for you–not even you.
Well, almost no one.
We just celebrated Easter. Have you ever noticed all the references to gardens in the Resurrection story? Where does Jesus go before He dies? To the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36). When He’s on the cross, He tells one of the thieves hanging next to Him that He would see him in Paradise that day (Lk. 23:43) (definition in Greek: a garden). After He dies, His body is taken where? To a garden tomb (Jn. 19:41). When Mary comes to this garden and finds His tomb empty, in her distress, she mistakes Jesus for what? A gardener (Jn. 20:15). Just as the cross is immediately sandwiched between two gardens, the whole Bible is sandwiched between two gardens: the Garden of Eden in Genesis and the Garden of Paradise in Revelation. God placed His first created humans in a garden, and that is where we will go in the end. Do you realize that along with His other titles, He is the Master Gardener?
God, the Master Gardener and His Sun, ahem, I mean, His Son, can destroy sin faster than the blazing sun drying out my spring weeds. The same sun brings life to my grass, thickening it, giving less room for the weeds to grow. God does the same in my life, helping the good to grow and the bad to be choked out and die.
Further, unlike the summer sun shining on my spring weeds, God can actually take a sin out and cause it to never return. He doesn’t always do this, of course. Our Gardener often wants us to dig in and do our part to rid our lives of the weeds of sin–we’ve got to see how stubborn those sins are and how much we need His help. We’ve got to come to the point of realizing how much we want it gone. Sometimes He leaves the thorns in our flesh to help us stay humble (II Cor. 12:7). However, I’m not going to stop asking Him if He would see fit to rid me of a sin with which I struggle. I have hope because I know He will help me in one way or another. For Him, it’s effortless.
Not only will God rid of certain sins here and now, but do you realize that He makes a difference for our eternity, too? Without Jesus, our sin will be held against us after we die. Sins aren’t just annoying difficulties like weeds are–they’re deadly. They actually separate us from a holy God. Just as it doesn’t matter that I have pretty flower beds and hanging ferns in front of my house when my lawn is ugly with weeds, my good actions aren’t going to outweigh my sin when I face my Master Gardener. A truly Good Gardener (think of the best gardener you can imagine–like the head gardener to a king) doesn’t want even one weed to mar the good.
Well, I have some really good news. Do you remember back in part one of this series when I talked about how thorns represent sin in the Bible, starting with the ground being cursed after the Fall and producing those same prickly weeds? It was no accident that those soldiers (who didn’t know what they were doing, but God did) placed a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head before He was taken to the cross to die for our sins (Jn. 19:2). He carried the symbol for sin on His head, showing what He was doing for us spiritually.
God created and was present in the first garden. Weeds and thorns came from our sin, but Jesus carried those thorns on His head to rid us of them forever. He will be with us in the final garden. And guess what? His garden has no weeds.
If you’d like to know more about how to let the Master Gardener take those weeds from you for eternity, please feel free to email me at heather.bock[at]glimpsesofjesus.com.
The winner of Bible Basics: A Baby Believer Counting Primer is Vanessa Samuel. Congratulations! I will try to contact you, but if you don’t hear from me soon, please contact me within a week at heather.bock[at]glimpsesofjesus.com to give me your address so I can send you your book.
- If I don’t hear from you within a week, I will need to draw another name. Thank you!