I love summertime! There's just something about the cloudless, blue skies, warm temperatures and the more relaxed pace that's very refreshing. I look forward to getting outside and beautifying our yard - although the process can be hard work. Weeding, planting and laying pinestraw are all necessary to accomplish the goal. And it's not something I can do just one time; there is weekly and sometimes daily maintenance.
I've found the same to be true with our hearts. If you're familiar with the old hymn, "Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us," maybe you can identify with the new title I came up with as I was bent over on the hillside, garden trowel in my hand: "Savior, Like a Gardener Weed Us." Because God's not finished with me yet, I know I need to pray for His 'weeding' in my life to remove those weeds of self-centeredness, jealousy, impatience, etc. Boy, when I'm not careful to give God permission to examine the soil of my heart, I end up with a fine crop of weeds.
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) It's easy to fool ourselves into thinking that everything is just fine, until we get 'bumped' with the 'junk' of life, and out pour hateful, judgmental words. Where did that come from? That's when I've needed to look at my heart's soil, identify the 'weeds,' and replace the bad soil with the good soil God makes available to me.
From the verse in Jeremiah, I know the bad soil comes from being deceived. Many times I've jumped to conclusions about what someone has said to me, ended up believing a lie, and gotten bitter as a result. Instead, I need to follow the advice of Paul, in 2 Corinthians 10:5 "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" (KJV) Focus on the truth, and assume the best unless God gives me reason to believe otherwise.
I used to think that it was unfortunate that it wasn't a one-time weeding. Now I realize that if it was, I'd not depend on Him daily (and even moment by moment!) as I should. Allow the weeding, so the garden of your life will be beautiful!