You weed and you cultivate and you care for the garden, or in this case Jim does; all I do is the processing and cooking of the goodies that he grows. The thing with a garden is that you can care for it all you want, but unwanted pests always seem to make their way in. This year we had snails and grasshoppers and locusts and other things eating the vegetables that we couldn't see.
Our lives are like that. We cultivate a healthy environment. Structure our homes on the principles of God and what the bible teaches. I know for myself I have tried to do that. But it always seems that little pests keep coming in. That is why it is so important to be diligent, especially in our thoughts. For me, the biggest pest is my own mind sometimes. I tend to worry...a lot. Just ask my family.
I can take something trivial and turn it into a code red emergency in no time at all. I tend to dwell on issues and to keep turning things over in my head. Losing sleep, losing peace. Worry is a big pest in my life and I am slowly learning to turn that over to the Lord. Looking back, there are things that I worried about needlessly; finances, health, my children, business, things that never came to pass. I have learned to trust the Lord, to go to Him in prayer and say, "I know this is a concern to me, and if it is to me, it is to you Lord. Please help me to look to you, for direction, for instruction, for peace. I release this problem to you and trust that you will walk me through whatever is ahead." Now I'm not going to lie and say that I don't still fret too much or sometimes have a sleepless night; I am only human. But that gut wrenching, sick to my stomach feeling that used to be an almost constant companion is a rare visitor now.
Another pest that I deal with is impatience. I finally give something over to the Lord and then I am looking at my watch, checking the calender, wondering Lord when is this going to happen? Some prayers that I have been praying for years have not been answered yet. Things that I know God has promised to me and to Jim. Things that are in line with His word. I have to learn to use a pest remover called faith and keep my eyes on Him and know that not all things are answered according to my timeline. That there are often lessons for me to be learned through the wait. In hindsight, I know that the greatest learning experiences, the greatest increases in my faith came from having to wait. I admit it, I am not a good 'waiter', but I am learning.
I think the most insidious pest that I deal with is the lack of knowing who I am in the Lord. The lack of keeping my mind focused on who I am through Him, who He has created me to be. I tend to see my deficiencies, my shortfalls and not the talents and gifts that He has given me. I have to really focus to be a positive person, in and of myself. When I am running on my own strength, I am not the glass half full person. I am the glass half empty, and somebody spit in it person. But when I look to the Lord, seek His truths about who I am I gain an insight that is not of me. I see that I am His child. His beloved. His unique creation, gifted with abilities and aptitudes that are distinctive only to me. That I have a place here in this world that no one else can fill. That I have opportunities that no one else will have if I will just trust Him and follow after His plan for my life.
So whether you are growing a vegetable garden or tending the garden of your life, you need to watch out for the pests that come in uninvited. You need to be diligent and meticulous in getting rid of those things that threaten the harvest. And there is a harvest in our lives. There is a yield that we will see if we are obedient to weed out the pests. The eradicant we use to get rid of those pests is found in our faith in God. In our trusting Him for our lives and our purpose. Our praying for guidance and grace.
When we do those things, when we discipline ourselves to conscientiously rid our lives of any pests that jeopardize the growth in our daily walk with the Lord, we will reap a bountiful harvest. A harvest that will bless us and will be a blessing to others.