We have several flower beds around the ranch, and the kids will often help us weed the flowers before their riding lessons. One day several of us were out weeding in the big flower bed by the entrance. The recent rain had caused lots of little weeds to pop up. As we discussed what was weed and what was flower, I commented that because there are so many plants concentrated in some spots, it's okay to pull some things that aren't weeds. They make the garden look messy because they are too crowded. Even a nice plant can look bad in the wrong spot.
Another staff member pointed out that it's the same in our lives. There are a lot of good things that we need to weed out because they make life too stressful and steal time from the best things, the ones that really matter. The crowding plants could be anything: one too many jobs, entertainment, too many activities on the family schedule, a time-consuming hobby, or trying to divide yourself between a lot of friends. You can probably think of some more in your own life. Often these things are our attempts to fill a nagging emptiness inside, or to please certain people, or try to provide for our own happiness and security.
God gives us the key to a contented and successful life in His Word. Matthew 6:31-33 says, "Therefore do not worry, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
God is our Creator. He knows what we need and what is good for us. For those of us who have trusted Jesus Christ to save us and make us new, He is also our Father. He is tender and compassionate towards His children and wants the best for us. He knows that so many of the things we think we need to have or do will actually choke out our life and make us less effective in being who He made us to be. A rosebush cannot be a great rosebush if it is being crowded out by ivy. Likewise, our lives in the King's service cannot amount to great things if we are choked and distracted by too many earthly cares. Have you trusted Him with the safety of your soul? That is the first thing you must do if you would grow in His garden. Without Jesus as Lord of your life, you will walk around with a big empty hole in your soul, like a bare spot in the garden where nothing is planted. Now if you have trusted Him to fill that hole with His life, then are you willing to trust Him with all the stuff of your earthly life as well?
You might want to take some time today to stop and ask the Lord if there are some good plants in your life that are choking out the best plants. Turn your cares over to Jesus and ask Him what He would have you do to make more space in your life for cultivating your relationship with Him.
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." 1Peter 5:6-7