Adam was told – Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. Genesis 3:17-18
Thorns, thistles and weeds are great depictions of sin. They pop up all over, affect all of us, and can cause immense pain. Weed pulling was a constant chore many of us endured during our adolescent years. For some it was our first job (unpaid) and a needed skill for life. As a kid it was hard to understand the economics of weed pulling. Dad made us do it, but the neighbors paid us to do it.
Growing up, my weed pulling assignments were tandem with my complaints about life not being fair. After each conversation, the result was still the same. Weeds had grown in my yard, and I was going to pull them—by the roots.
I had the opportunity to spend the day with a 5-year old recently. When I picked up the youngster, I tried to shock him by telling him that part of our day would include pulling weeds in my yard. His reply surprised me when he said, “I like to pull weeds.” I asked if he had ever pulled them before. “No, but I like it,” he said. I knew immediately he had never experienced the punishment of yard work and decided I would spare him.
Our day together was packed with adventure. We went hiking, picked oranges, made tacos for lunch, and even played back yard baseball, but nothing could deter my little friend from his questioning, “When are we going to pull the weeds?” Oh to be young and adventurous again! I finally gave in and let him pull a couple of weeds in my yard.
As he pulled weeds, I shared with him that weeds are like sins. They are unwanted things that grow in life. We need to be careful to kill them while they are small, otherwise, they will grow up real big, cause trouble, and spread to others. See Hebrews 12:15. The weed pulling didn’t last long, but he said it was fun, and I was glad to introduce him to a new life skill.
Looking back I have to admit, the skills I developed and the ideals formulated during my years of weed pulling benefited me. I have a strong resolve, the ability to endure hardship, and know how to complete even the most dreaded tasks, finishing well. I have also learned there are many things in life much worse than weed pulling. Thanks, Dad, for the weed pulling adventures I was assigned. You made me a better man for them.
I know there are weeds pestering you in life. I don’t know if you are avoiding them or tugging at their roots. I am confident that with God’s help and a new perspective, you can turn the unwanted growth into an adventure.