As much as I hate to admit it, I actually enjoy weeding my flower garden. While the vertebrae in my back have a different opinion, I enjoy poking around in the dirt and trying to help things grow. But there is one particular weed that drives me crazy. I have heard it called Johnson Grass. I don’t know its official name but it is the scourge of gardeners everywhere. Fast-growing, insidious and once entrenched in your garden, it is almost impossible to eradicate. The secret to its success lies in its structure. As soon as a new weed seed germinates, tiny roots begin forming its own root system to sustain itself. Once the plant becomes established, it sends out long roots in every direction; some reaching very deep down into the soil, others as runners along the top of the soil. Along the surface of the shoots are nodes, like small joints, every inch or so. Each of those nodes is capable of producing its own root system and establishing itself just like the parent plant. If you pull one weed, it removes only that particular weed but leaves the extended root network intact. Believe me, you do not want this weed to get the upper hand in your garden! Its growth will compete with your flowers for water and nutrients and if left unchecked, will choke out the flowers.
If you are still reading this, you may be wondering what this nerdy essay on weeds has to do with living for Christ.
Although I despise this weed, I think that we, as a church, can learn a lot about growth by mimicking its methods.
When we give ourselves to Christ, God plants His Holy Spirit in us. In order to grow in Him we must develop strong roots. This occurs as we put our faith in Christ, walk in His ways and rely on Him. We study scripture to learn about Him, sing praises to Him along with other believers, talk to Him in prayer, learn to listen and obey His voice. Once firmly rooted in Jesus, He equips us to share His love and teaching with others. Like the weed, we are to expand and extend ourselves in every aspect of our lives to love others with the same love we have received. We are to become so firmly rooted in Christ and attuned to His voice that we are able to respond to any direction where He leads. Doing so can take many forms. It might be a chance to share our faith with an unbelieving work colleague who is in the midst of a crisis and is searching for answers, a neighbor who is sick and needs our help or a good friend who has walked away from Him and needs to be reminded that God never ceases loving us and can use even our rebellion to further His kingdom.
We must constantly stay attuned to what God wants to accomplish through us and ask for His help, wisdom and timing. If we do this, the church WILL grow. God is ready and willing to provide everything needed to handle expansion of His Kingdom but we must be willing to work with Him as He leads. Church, isn’t it time for us to begin “growing like weeds?”