Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "In The Garden"1 (Lyrics)
Each April for the past three years, our household has received a picture postcard from the office of the Grey County Weed Inspector. The cards advised of an invasive plant called Wild Chervil that threatens forage crops. The postcards ask rural residents of the county to indentify the plant and control its spread with mowing or digging out the young tap root. For three summers, I have weeded Wild Chervil from our property and road allowances.
One day while weeding Wild Chervil, my thoughts turned to Jesus' parable of the sower, especially the seed that was choked by weeds.
Mark 4:18-19 – The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it. (MSG)
I asked in prayer for insight about the weeds that strangle my growth as a follower of Christ. I waited for weeks, and then one day as I was reading Luke 10, I understood my answer.
Luke 10:38-42 – As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, "Lord, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me." But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her." (NLT)
My weeds are distractions focused on things, details, wanting to whine "unfair", stress, worry, upset, and the pressures of life. Giving great attention to any of them does stop me from taking in what the Lord may teach me.
Now, I will not let anything overwhelm my learning time with the Lord each day. I make time to listen at His feet, whether first thing in the morning, at midday, or in the evening. Pen in hand, my face goes into a Bible and my notebook is open to take dictation. As I read, I look for and write down mention of Jesus, God the Father, or the Holy Spirit. I examine the text for what He said and what is said about Him, plus any instructions to believers like me. I meet with the Lord one chapter at a time. I take what I copy to heart. My findings from the Bible come to mind as prayers. My notes guide hard decisions. I can hardly wait to crack my chapter each day. I find it exciting, and altogether, the experience brings peace.
Have you identified the daily weeds that may choke out the time when you could be learning at the Lord's feet? How do you learn from the Lord?
Prayer: Father, guide our learning about You and the kingdom of heaven. We ask for Your leading, in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.