Listen to this devotional:
Matthew 13:37-43 – [Jesus] answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear." (ESV)
Like the seeds sown in this parable, the world has pressed in on me at work; at home, our health has suffered as Caroline has been in the wars too; and then Caroline starts the final countdown to grow our family into a foursome sometime in late July.
No pressure then for a grumpy man of 55 feeling old, fragile, vulnerable, and a little cranky from a lack of sleep! Consequently, I have found being a good witness to God, myself, and my family, tough, especially when my grip on things has slipped a little.
Sunday, I grabbed a few moments in the garden, keen to do some weeding, as any gardener does in the early summer. Having regularly weeded, I was surprised by the number of the little terrors that had managed to densely colonize my raised flowerbed. It was as if someone had thrown a bucketful of weed seeds over the fence. So, I set to work on the big ones and progressively focused on the remainder.
Then, with the suddenness of a coin dropped into a glass jar, plink, these weeds reminded me of Jesus' words. His followers, sons of the Kingdom, would face opposition and interference from the sons of the evil one. In my experience, these weeds come in various guises, not just human, but also natural and supernatural forces.
In the midst of opposition, we can depend on Jesus watching over us. We are to be set cheek-by-jowl with negative influences, until our time when the obstructions will be removed. In the interim, we are to keep our nerve, although presently wasting away, sown by God to bring forth a harvest.
We gain a stronger foundation to withstand our current issues if we look to this future hope of eventually shining like the sun! He will deliver His children to the harvest!
Prayer: Lord, for all those of us who feel we have nothing more left to give, please grant us Your inner peace and strength, to face the day and to be found still resolute at the end. For those of us who have let go of everything apart from You, because we had no choice, grant us the surety of Your love, that we may rest in peace, secure in Your embrace. In Jesus' name. Amen.