Kernel of Truth
Born for Adversity
By Laura J. Bagby
CBN.com Sr. Producer
I was reading in my devotion recently something that
made the wheels turn.
In Matthew 13:24-30, Jesus is giving a pastoral illustration
of what the kingdom of heaven is like. In the story, a farmer
plants wheat seeds in a field. That night the farmer's enemy plants
weeds in among the good seed. As the wheat seeds grow, the weeds
One day, the farmer's servants notice that there are weeds in
the field and figure they better let the farmer know. When the
farmer learns the bad news and realizes that his enemy is to blame,
the servants ask if they should pull up the weeds.
Now, you would think that the finale of this story is that the
farmer nods in agreement, the weeds get pulled, and the good wheat
is free to grow without the distraction of bad seed to crowd it
out and steal light and nutrients.
But that is not what happens. In fact, the farmer lets the weeds
stay in the garden. And why would a farmer let the weeds continue
to grow, knowing that weeds could overtake the garden and choke
out the good plants? His answer is astonishing: "You'll hurt
the wheat if you do." The farmer goes on to say, "Let
both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters
to sort out the weeds and burn them and to put the wheat in the
barn" (Matt. 13:29-30).
Perhaps you are thinking, So what? I am no agricultural major.
I don't garden, I am not a farmer, and I don't plant seed. But
the truth is that this story is all about you. Jesus represents
the farmer. We Christians are the good, wheat seeds planted firmly
in the garden of this world. Our enemy, Satan, has planted among
us the weeds of worldly pleasures, deception, doubt, strife, anger,
bitterness, greed, pride, and even some of his own personal cronies,
the worst demons of his kingdom.
With that in mind, let's go back to verse 29: "You will
hurt the wheat." Did you read that? If the distracting and
parasitic weeds are yanked from the field, guess what is going
to suffer? If you guessed the weeds, you are wrong. The wheat
is going to suffer. That means you and me.
My first instinct is to scratch my head and ask, Why? Because
in my mind, if I were free from distractions, adversity, and an
enemy close at hand, I would figure that I would grow better,
stronger, and more hardy. I could be a super Christian and do
Tell me, honestly, when do you most seek God? When are you most
desperate for Him? When times are good, or when you are facing
doubtful, scary circumstances?
It isn't that we don't thank God when He is good to us. When
things are going our way, we don't automatically forget about
the Lord. But most often true growth happens when we are forced
to rely on Him. And we are forced to rely on God when our sustenance
is being threatened by those rotten weeds. We begin to rethink
things when suddenly our joy and strength and provision are being
It takes weeds sometimes for us to also come face to face with
our true heart condition. We thought we were kind and giving and
loving individuals. Then Warren Weed and his extensive family
invaded our space. All of a sudden, we are feeling cramped and
crabby. All that Christian nicety is gone.
Let's, therefore, not disdain the hard times, the trials, the
inconveniences. It is the garden we live and grow in, in this
world, and it is ordained by God to mature us in Him. When we
turn the weed-infested areas of our hearts and minds and circumstances
over to God, putting our faith and reliance in Him, God will produce
in us a hardy crop of wheat that will continue to thrive no matter
where we are planted.
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