I woke up last Thursday feeling rather strange; my face felt tight. When I looked in the mirror I hardly recognized what looked back at me. My face had puffed up; my eyes were little slits peeping out at me, begging for help. For two days I’d been sneezing and blowing my nose constantly. Now, my body was itching with an all-over rash. What was left of my vision was blurry and my eyes itched like crazy. I went to Urgent Care where they gave me a steroid shot in the hip and a selection of meds to clear up a severe allergic reaction to a plant in our yard.

How did this wicked plant get in our yard? 
Two years ago I bought a packet of sunflower seeds. Somehow, a random seed made its way into the packet. I watered and coaxed the sunflowers through the season, but they never did well. The mystery plant, however, grew quickly and thrived. Since it was growing…well, like a weed, and had interesting feathery leaves and spire-like heads (and was somewhat attractive), I let it grow. I had one giant healthy mystery plant in a row of sickly sunflowers.
This summer, none of the sunflowers reappeared, but the mystery plant came back. And I let it grow again. Why not, it was healthy? Little did I know its agenda—to take over our yard while Kelly and I were on vacation!
When we returned it was three feet high and four feet across, and spreading across the walkway behind our deck. So I trimmed it back. My nose rebelled. I sneezed and blew my drippy nose until the skin started to peel on both sides. One miserable day later I yanked that plant out completely and put it in the trash. But not before it thoroughly coated me with a massive dose of whatever it had to muster as I carried it to the garbage can. 
And I must have rubbed my face at some point—thus the tiny-eyed woman in the mirror pleading for release.
I couldn’t help but compare this evil seed to James’ words, “My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water” (James 3:12). We can’t expect to grow something good from a weed seed any more than we can expect to speak or do things that glorify God from seeds of the flesh. 
Living a godly life isn’t easy. Like the sunflowers I intended to grow, developing love, kindness, faith, courage, and other godly fruit, takes work and attention. It’s much easier to let grow what comes naturally—selfishness, boasting, impatience, gossip and much more. 
Why do we let them grow? Because it’s easier than fighting our sin nature; they look somewhat attractive; they make us feel good at the moment. But then, like the plant in our yard, what started as a single seed begins to take over and, in the end, causes pain and distress. 
That plant got hauled off by the garbage truck, but I’m sure it left behind seed. Next year, however, I won’t be so gullible. I will know what to look for, and rip it out quickly before it gains any ground. I need to do the same when I recognize worldly thinking growing where there should be Son-flowers. Whatever doesn’t line up with what Jesus taught I need to root it out. Weeds like: self-indulgence, faithlessness, a defeatist mindset. Unless I rip them out they will cause great harm, and leave me weak and useless for the kingdom of God. 
Have you let any weeds grow in your garden lately?
Good seed; good things!

kale, blueberries, and fresh tomatoes

peas and beans bursting on the vine
#whatyouplantwillgrow #weedseed #james3:12 #lifeintheflesh #dangerousweeds