This place is a wreck. Sitting out here on the patio in the early morning Missouri summer humidity, I’m looking at the weeds resolutely poking through the already treated pave stones. There’s some unwanted green stuff growing amongst the begonia pots, and the garden hoses are in dire need of mending. On top of all of this, a brown leaf just now floated gently down (to meet the weeds on the pave stones, I suppose.)
Now wait a minute! It’s only July! I’m not ready for Autumn yet! Besides, no fair, since I’ve been out of town for a week, which gave the weeds and their comrades free reign.
Well, sort of. On the other hand, the net I had put up to protect the berry bushes and the fencing to protect the other plants were doing their jobs pretty well while I was gone. And the water barrels were full when I got home, collecting and storing the precious liquid without which the nets and fences will be moot. When I was mowing the lawn (one of the few things I’ve motivated myself to accomplish since I’ve been home) I did notice a few bees, yea that, since their pollination is a concern as of late. Speaking of which, the huge hibiscus started doing its thing, and another plant I was concerned might be dying, lo and behold, sent out its flower! (Hey ya, bees!! Over here!!)
I wonder if that’s what the Apostle Paul felt like whenever he would leave one of his (many) church plants. Always wondering, praying for their faithfulness, concerned for the invasion of the weeds.
“Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.”
No wonder it was so important for him to put protective barriers in the form of pastors, teachers, and proper doctrine wherever he went…
“When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations,which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.
The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith. But some people have missed this whole point.”
…which, (and we don’t like this part), included behavioral standards:
“…Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.”
There’s something to be said for protective fences, in more places than a garden. Right now I see another bee on one of my coneflowers, doing her job. I guess I’ll go do mine soon, mending the hoses that is.
And even though I haven’t seen another leaf fall yet, time may be shorter than I think.
Galatians 4:19; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; Titus 2:5 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.