Miscellaneous

Weeds and Wheat

Last week we escaped Bridge City with some friend from the States to explore other parts of this amazingly beautiful country. As we stood on a mountain overlooking the sea at sunset with some dear friends who have been with us through several countries and major life events, I couldn’t help but ponder the juxtaposition between the highs and lows of this life.

In the middle is a decent chunk of ordinary, but on either side, the good parts often seem so good and the low parts seem increasingly hard.

Over and over I find myself pondering Jesus’ parable about weeds in Matthew 13. A farmer sowed good seed in his field, but in the night his enemy came and sowed weeds. When the servants offered to pull those weeds right up, he master said, “No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow until the harvest and at harvest time I will tell the reaper ‘Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned but gather the wheat into my barn.'”

We live in the already, but not yet, of the kingdom, yet I share the sentiment of the servants. Why can’t we pull up some of these weeds already?

Now, I don’t think Jesus is trying to say that we shouldn’t work to bring justice and goodness into the world (you’d have to do some really bad scripture interpretation to insinuate that). Quite the opposite. Rather, he’s reminding us that the nature of our fallen world is that the good and the bad are both going to exist side by side for awhile. No matter how much we try, we won’t get rid of all the weeds. It’s not in our power to do so.

As those good crops are growing and maturing, the thorny weeds also will grow larger as they get gnarly and suffocating. Doesn’t that ring true in life? I find so many good things, but the hard things seem to just get harder.

But the farmer knows the weeds from the wheat. He does not overlook the evil, but he waits patiently. He’s much wiser than his servants who have different ideas of what should be done. He calls them to endure patiently, as well. The tall growth of both the good crops and the evil weeds are a sign that harvest time is coming when all will be made right. And until then, I labor to cultivate the good things growing in his field while learning to be okay that the good and the bad must grow together for a season.

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