A few months ago I was reading Matthew 13:24-25 where it says in the New Living Translation, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away.” I recently fixed some areas of my lawn that had somehow become pretty barren. So I raked and loosened the soil in those areas, added some composted soil, then planted some new seed. The weather cooperated by not getting too hot and raining frequently. To my great surprise, grass began to grow and thicken as the days went by. Unfortunately, so did the weeds. And the weeds grew a lot faster than the grass. So I got down on my hands and knees and pulled out every weed I could see. Much to my dismay, as I pulled the weeds, up came some of my new grass.
In the parable, neither the farmer nor his workers knew that the enemy had planted weeds. And they remained unaware for some time–until the weeds started showing. The workers were like me. They wanted to pull the weeds as soon as they saw them. The farmer was a much wiser man than I was. He told his workers to let both grow until the harvest. Then the whole field will be cut down, and the wheat will be separated from the weeds.”
How often do we come upon “weeds” in our lives? We live in constant tension in our lives. That’s because God is still sowing His people in the world and bringing a great harvest, while the enemy is also at work, sowing his weeds. We are only the first-fruit. God has determined that this is how it will be until the great harvest. Why doesn’t God pull up the weeds now? For the same reason he allowed Pharoah to harden his heart over and over, and the Hebrews to complain to Moses after God had done miracle after miracle, and Stephen to be stoned while Paul looked on holding the murderers’ clothing, and Jesus to be crucified. As Colin S. Smith notes in his Unlocking the Bible, “God tolerates the world, the flesh, and the devil because they are useful to Him. They’re the anvils on which Kingdom character is painfully hammered out. They’re the hurdles we must jump and the pressure we must endure to demonstrate that we truly love Christ.”
So grow where you are planted in faith believing in the Great Harvest. Because if God pulled the weeds from around you, you, too, might become uprooted. God’s plan always takes into account all things–even those we can’t see or anticipate.