As I was cleaning up my garden this week, I got to thinking about weeds. Ever since I found out that Adam’s disobedience was the reason we have them, I just simply accepted we had to deal with them. But this week, I decided to dig a littler deeper. (pun intended .. hee! hee!) Did you know that the most basic definition of a weed is a plant that grows where it is unwanted? It doesn’t necessarily mean that it is not useful. Just that it’s growing where we really want something else to grow.
I had heard that there exists such a thing as invasive species, or weeds if you will, that the DNR tells us aren’t wanted here in Wisconsin. I decided to look these up. The ecological threats that were listed included such things as: forming dense groves of clones, blocking out sunlight, covering canopy trees, depleting soil moisture, and killing young trees and shrubs by girding their vines around the trunks. Most of these species grow at a rapid pace, provide food for birds, and even have ornamental value, meaning they looked good.
What I find really interesting is that some of these plants actually have uses to do things like dry up wet areas and even stop erosion. So despite that they are considered a weed, the potential does exist to use these plants strategically depending on the needs of the habitat. Of course, that would require a person who had patience to work with and knowledge to know how to use the weed in such a way that it became useful instead of simply bothersome to other plants.
Have you ever seen an untended field, pasture, or forest? It’s beautiful! Breathtaking even! It doesn’t look anything like a carefully cultivated garden where everything is all separated out. As a matter of fact, plants run together, vines climb over other things, and there are countless varieties of plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs! As the gardener, God tends to His garden with natural use of fire, wind, rain, seasons, and somehow, never has to worry about having a successful harvest. I have never once seen Him plant a seed, yet everywhere you look, there is growth! Even after a drought, somehow, the plants still recover with new growth.
I wish I could tell you I have some great simple revelation about this, but truthfully, I’m sitting here mulling over the many spiritual implications to this. I just don’t think God sees as many weeds as we do. I think if anything, He looks at everything with wisdom knowing that there is some stuff that looks like garbage, but turns out to be good fertilizer for the soil, so He allows it to remain knowing it will break down over time like compost. I think He sees a situation and says, that’s going to sap too much water over here, but over here, it’s just the thing needed to stop erosion. I think He orchestrates His spiritual forest using and reusing absolutely every bit. While I may not understand how something can be used, I know that He does.
I don’t mind the man-made, carefully cultivated separated out gardens, but truthfully, they pale in comparison to God’s mighty garden!