I’m looking at forsaken landscaping along the wall of a house, and I can’t tell where the bed ends and the lawn begins. The weeds had formed a successful coup by joining forces with the lawn to form a carpet of green nastiness. The boss tells us we must renovate it, so I look at him like he just told the joke of the day only to see the inevitable in his face: he’s serious.
Landscaping is not a placid occupation. It’s dirty, smelly and sweaty. It breaks backs, twists ankles and scuffs knees. Yet after the hands are calloused, and dirt granules seep into the bloodstream, admiring the finished job is a reward that surpasses the struggle.
But those weeds…
Weeds that imbed themselves into the deep earth are the collective archenemy of landscapers and gardeners everywhere. Eyeing a carpet of weeds is akin to the standoff between Harry and Voldemort, or Skywalker and Vader. It’s epic.
Then the battle begins. First, a pickaxe must be used to loosen the pests from their foundation. Next, the dislodged weeds are raked into piles. Then they’re shoveled away, leaving many fragments still in the dirt, which, if left alone, would only propagate more weeds in the future. So these fragments must also be raked to further solidify the eradication process.
At this point, plants are ready to be planted into the bed–but the war with the weeds is still not over. Weed prevention is key to enjoying a house’s landscaping in future years, and this is done by laying down plastic or fabric sheeting on the entire surface of the bed to inhibit weed growth.
Some weeds dig their roots deep and spread them out in prolific fingers, which makes it impossible to eradicate it completely. These are the stubborn ones because any root fragment can sprout into a new weed.
Christians ought to be stubborn weeds.
We do not belong in this world governed by sin, death and the Devil (Rom. 5:12; 1 John 5:19). Just like weeds, we are not wanted here (1 Pet. 2:11). Christians must be stubborn weeds. We must continually remember who we are in Christ, digging ourselves deep and wide, if we are to survive Satan’s attempts to pluck us (Eph. 6:10-13, see also 4:27).
Those who have been beaten and shaken in their faith know firsthand what it’s like to doubt faith and doubt God, but although they doubt and stumble, they don’t disown God because they know God hasn’t disowned them. Although they’re wounded, their roots are not unearthed. They make the Devil sweat because of their depth.
Do we make the Devil sweat? Do we make the him cringe? Do we make him struggle?
We can’t be easy weeds with feeble roots. We must not forsake the hope we have in Christ (Rom. 5:3-5; 8:24), for in that hope lies his love that saves us (8:35-39).
Next time you pull a weed from the ground, contemplate your own roots. Are they deep?