Luke 8:1-8, 19-21
Mark 3:20-35, 4:1-20
Matthew 12:22-50, 13:1-9
Matthew 13:7, 22, “Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. … The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.”
There are countless types of gardens – flower gardens, desert gardens, vegetable gardens, herb gardens — the list goes on. But, can you imagine someone intentionally planting a weed and thorn garden? No! In fact, they’re the bane of every gardener’s existence. The soil is fertile, the seed’s been sown, but they can quickly overpower and destroy the very life the gardener hoped to produce.
In today’s reading, Jesus likens our hearts to excellent plant-producing soil that’s being overrun by thorns. We may have been receptive to God’s grace and His Word of truth, but now we are allowing other aspects of life to choke out and stunt our spiritual growth. Our hearts can get so crowded with worry, fear, tangible possessions, and self-indulgence that we lose focus on that which matters most — our relationship with Jesus.
Do you have a crowded heart? If so, it’s time to pull out your gardening gloves, hoe, and shovel. It takes work to dig deep and root out whatever’s stunting your walk with God — but the growth on the other side is well worth the effort. The beautiful flowers of faith will have space to grow as you allow God to show you what needs to be weeded out. Then you can step back with a joy-filled heart as you admire the fruit of the harvest!
Dear Lord, Produce in me a bountiful harvest! Help me eliminate the weeds of worry and the thorns of materialism and pride. Pull me close as I do the work to get back on track with what You want for my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.