Recently I was looking back at the high school version of myself and shaking my head, as many of us probably do. I have often wondered why God in His mercy allowed me to have so many precious encounters with Him, during a time when I was toying with so much compromise in other areas of my life. As I’ve pondered this, God led me to Matthew 13:24-30, the Parable of the Weeds
The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
When I look back on the past, I tend to see the weeds, the sinful things, and ask God why didn’t you pull them? The answer is that He values the wheat, the good He sees in me, so much that He’s willing to allow the weeds for a season. God loves us and values who He has made us to be. While of course He can see the weeds in our lives, He is willing to endure even the criticism He may receive (didn’t you sow good seed in your field?) in order to give the good things in us time to grow strong and able to handle the eventual weeding that needs to take place. A time did come in my life when weeding certainly did take place, but God has shown me that He did it in such a way that none of the wheat was lost, in fact after the weeding (repentance, consecration, learning Lordship, etc) He has then resown those seeds of righteousness that were in my life to produce an even greater harvest that He and I are still cultivating today! (Note that repentance of course is an ongoing thing, but I’m speaking specifically about certain issues in my life that needed to be dealt with.)
There are two things I wanted to share about this. 1-If you too have struggled to see the wheat in your life for all the weeds, remember that God values you. He’s not intimidated by your weeds, either of the past or the present. He is the perfect gardener of your heart. He knows what needs to be cultivated and how to do it. The most important thing to Him is that you are His and when you belong to Him, trust Him, and respond to His leading, He will cultivate and develop everything in your life in His perfect timing. Rather than carrying around shame from past sins, or current struggles, repent of what needs to be repented and let God do what He does best: forgive and restore. Now we can look back on the weeds, rather than sources of shame, but instead reminders of how much God values and cherishes who we are. He was and is willing to endure anything to help us become who He has designed us to be. Wow! What an incredible loving Father.
Finally, freely we have received freely give. (Matthew 10:8) As a parent, the “weeds” of my children are in my face all the time. This can also be the case with our spouses, friends, family members…basically any member of the human race! I need to take after my Father God and love people well, receiving His patience and faith to know that the wheat, the good in people’s lives, is far more valuable than the offense of the weeds. We must be in tune with the Holy Spirit for His guidance and timing. Even, like our Father, being willing to endure the misunderstandings of others, in order to see the necessary maturing of the God-given character, strength, and giftings of those around us. This is absolutely not to say that discipline and correction have no place, it’s all about timing and listening to the Holy Spirit. God’s timing will always bring about the best harvest. I am so thankful for His patience and commitment in my life. God help us give this away to others!