After one of the first small group meetings, a young wife had a revelation and sent me what God had spoken to her as she sought His insight into the study. Without changing any of her words, I wanted to share with you what she had been given in imagery:
"I wanted to tell you that at our last meeting, I think God gave me this picture in my mind of a garden. A beautiful garden representing my marriage. And a weed popped up in the garden, which is bitterness. Like you said, in the beginning of betrayal, bitterness will almost be automatic, but it's what we do with it. Sometimes I choose to sit in front of this weed and tell myself the whole garden is ruined. I don't enjoy the rest of the flowers, or the fruits growing. This weed was put there by the enemy, but it won't grow unless we water it and tend to it (i.e. nurse it). If I do pay too much attention to it, water it, nurse it, it will grow quickly. It will take over my entire garden.
And if I sit in front of this weed all the time and ignore the rest of the garden, the beautiful flowers will eventually die too. The weed also needs sun to survive, so the way I kill it off is to put it in the shadow of the cross. In the darkness, without water, it won't survive…and my garden will flourish once again. There may be other weeds that pop up every now and again, but I will still be able to enjoy my garden. I'm learning how to reject the lies the enemy tells, and to choose not to focus on the bitterness, but instead on the good works God is doing in my marriage."
It amazes me how in our own time, own ways and own stories, God meets us with what we need for the moment to better understand the progress and areas in need of more growth. I absolutely love the word picture of the weeds in the garden.
The first time out in the Spring can be daunting and overwhelming as there is no good place to start besides right in front of you with weeds and winter dead growth tangled up and sprouting. It takes you getting on your knees, gloves on and shovel in hand, to tackle the mess in below you. We have to maintain the flower beds with weed killer, God's Word, and allow the sun to grow the beauty in the gardens to see the progress long term. If we constantly keep ourselves head down staying busy, we never see the big picture or progress and direction of where we need to go.
By allowing the cross to do the justice of the "weeds", we can put all our energy into the flowers, the fruits, and the colors God has created for us to enjoy. Take the time to notice the color variations in the pedals, the difference between each flower and how none is alike.
Ask yourself, "Am I spending too much time trying to kill this one weed and not noticing the acres of stunning gardens around me?" or "Am I allowing the shadow of the cross to kill the weeds so I can enjoy the rest of the garden?"
About the Author
Stephanie is a stay-at-home mommy to four little blessings. Married for 16 years, Tim and Stephanie find new ways to enjoy intimate time together while raising the young family.