Redemption in the Curse
By Dave Bateman
There’s something evil about weeds. They serve no purpose. You can’t eat them. They don’t have pretty flowers. Absolutely no redeeming value. They are a curse from God, seriously. Genesis 3 tells about the fall of mankind. All three participants in the fall received a consequence (or curse) from God. After God is done with the serpent and Eve He said to Adam, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you.”
I don’t get my food from the 3/4 acre lot I live on, but I am familiar with painful toil and weeds. Most Saturdays I am either pulling weeds out of the gravel or hula hoeing them. In fact I have a certain muscle in my back that I refer to as my hula hoe muscle and I know I’m finished for the day once it seizes up.
The task is overwhelming. To manually weed such a large lot takes so much time and makes me feel small. Friends don’t understand why on Earth I do it. They tell me to hire someone, drag it with a tractor, or invest in some Round up. What they don’t understand is weeding is my Gethsemane. It’s where I go to meet with God.
Most of the time He is quiet and lets me work, but every so often He will speak to me. He will bring to my mind people to pray for and help me sort through problems. I don’t hear a voice, but I know in the stillness, the quiet of the wind, He is telling me He loves me and He is with me.
The work and the sweat pushes out the angst and keeps me humble. I connect with the dust from which I came and to which I will return. It doesn’t make sense how something so horrible can be beautiful and redemptive, but that’s how God works.
As I write this on a Saturday, it’s time again for me to go. God is calling me outside, to the weeds, the wind, and Himself.
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