When times get tough do people see your faith take a back seat and the complaining begin? Fiona explains.
“Jesus told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared'” (Matthew 13:24-26). “Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to Him and said, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.’ He answered, ‘The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil'” (Matthew 13:36-39).
On a recent visit to some gardens, we were impressed by how beautiful the poppy gardens looked as you approached them. The poppy flower stands out against the greenery of the stalks and leaves.
On closer inspection, however, the gardens were also full of Cape Weed (daisies) and thistles, growing amongst the poppies. Not as tall, but still invading much of the garden.
But mostly you didn’t see them–as the focus was on the flowers. Your eyes were drawn away from the weeds, to the beauty of the flowers instead. I have photographs I’ve taken that show a beautiful open poppy, but in the background, the daisy weeds are there as well.
It brought to mind the parable Jesus told, of the weeds amongst the wheat (shared above).
I got to thinking . . . If I were a poppy, would I stand out as being the good seed that God had placed there? Or would my life be overshadowed by the other weeds, sown by the devil?
Certainly the answer to that question is–not always. My words, my behavior, my complaining about the difficulties of illness–may not have me shining as “good seed.”
I do know, however, that as Christians, people are always watching how we face the challenges of living with chronic pain and illness in our lives.
They’re watching how we respond and if we’ll become angry and bitter towards God, because of the way our lives have turned out. Those who are not Christians hope we will, maybe proving that “God is not good if He allows pain.”
Other Christians may be inspired by our courage, faith, and trust that God is still in control–that we haven’t given up on Him.
I want to be the poppy shining for Him, even amongst the weeds of illness and pain.
Prayer: Father God, You are the Gardener. Help me and each one who reads this, to stand out as the good seed others see. As we rise up with Your strength to face the challenges of illness, may we shine with the hope we have in You. Amen.
About the Author:
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful that God walks each step of her life with her, and that He continues to teach her new things as she learns to live with chronic back pain. She enjoys finding time for reading, writing, and photography, and to share those things with others. You can contact her in the Sunroom, or read more of her writing on her blog there.
Are you aware that others are watching how you respond to your illness? How do we ensure we are shining for Him, not being buried by the weeds around us?
This is For King and Country singing “Crave” and the lyrics refer to how we crave hope. We cannot fully live without it and this can be what makes the difference between finding joy in our circumstances–or only grief. We, who believe in Jesus and that we have salvation, have a hope that those who do not believe do not have. So let us continue to crave hope. Let us know that when others look at us, wondering how we are still laughing, it is the hope that they should see. -Lisa