Some years ago I discovered a patch of wild strawberries at the far end of our field. Each year I look forward to picking and eating the tiny sweet treats on my birthday. When I checked the plants …
Some years ago I discovered a patch of wild strawberries at the far end of our field. Each year I look forward to picking and eating the tiny sweet treats on my birthday. When I checked the plants earlier in the spring, the area was loaded. I decided to try something different this year. I asked my husband not to mow the grass back there until I picked the strawberries, hoping to save many of the plants from being crushed by the mower tires.
However, by the time I walked back to check on the berries, the grass and weeds had grown so high that I couldn’t even find the plants. The only one I found was on the edge of the mowed area. I realized that my attempt to preserve the berries had probably destroyed them. The weeds and grass had crowded out the little plants, and I was very disappointed.
A question came to my mind. Are there weeds and tall grasses choking out the fruitfulness in your life? I thought about how we can get so bogged down in the weeds of life, the distractions that steal our attention and keep us focused on what’s unimportant, while the important gets choked out.
Our fruitfulness can be choked out when we lean to our own understanding, make our own plans, and do things the way we think best rather than asking God what He desires us to do. We can get ahead of God, trying to bring about our dreams and plans in our own way, and end up with unfruitful, dashed dreams. God’s ways and plans are best, and His timing is perfect.
The weeds of busyness can easily choke out our fruitfulness. Life gets too busy, and many times our attention and focus are sideswiped by what we see as urgent, while what’s really important is pushed aside. We need to ask the Lord to help us set our priorities according to what He wants us to focus upon so we can be fruitful for Him.
There are times when, just as I tried to protect those little plants from harm, we try to protect our loved ones. This can lead to enabling them, and harms them more in the long run rather than letting them face and deal with their problems. We need to take our hands off and stop trying to control these situations, and let God take care of them.
I learned some important lessons from my tiny wild strawberry plants this year. I also saw how God can reverse our poor decisions when we have repented and turn our messes over to Him to fix. I told my husband to go ahead and mow that area, since there would be no berries. But I was surprised to find that the next time I checked, some of the strawberry plants had survived and were starting to fruit.
I also started seeing berries in other areas that had been mowed. I’d never looked in those places before. I didn’t think I’d have any wild strawberries for my birthday this year, yet God was blessing me with them. When we’re stuck in our ruts and familiar boxes, we can be surrounded by weeds holding us back from taking a new path that could lead to much blessing and fruit. We need to trust God to lead us into the fruitfulness He desires for us.
Hope Ministries is a Christian counseling center, and we are here to help. If you would like to speak confidentially with someone, give us a call at 845-482-5300.
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