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Cultivate a fruitful life! Surrender to Jesus and trust Him with your cares.
“The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but the message is crowded by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.” Mark 4:18–19
I love to garden. Weeding—not so much. However, weeding is an essential part of gardening. Weeds grow right next to my tomatoes or flowers, and if left alone, will eventually cause destruction. Weeds hinder the growth of what is good in a garden. Unchecked, they’ll keep a garden from being fruitful.
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Jesus said that the seeds of truth He plants in our hearts get crowded out by worries, as well as by our desire for wealth or our desire for more stuff. I can say I don’t desire wealth, but the fact is, I wish we had a little more. Not a lot, you understand. Just a bit more.
Further, in a random hour of almost any day, I probably have a dozen worries flit through my brain. I don’t consciously decide to worry; in fact, I try not to. But still, the cares of this life march right on through: How will we manage to pay for college? Will my husband find a new job? Are my kids on the right track? Did I say the wrong thing to a friend? Will I meet the deadline for this project?
Jesus is the only one who can give me the fruitful life I long for. I cannot get it by trying harder, but rather by opening my life to Him, letting Him eradicate the weeds of worry and covetousness, while cultivating contentment and trust. Ironically, the way to cultivate contentment is to simply stop trying so hard. Trust grows when we surrender to Jesus.
Faith Step: What unhealthy worries and desires for stuff or wealth are crowding out growth in your life? Are you willing to let God pull those weeds from your life?
Keri Wyatt Kent is the author of many devotionals, including Simple Compassion and Oxygen. She writes and speaks to help people slow down, simplify, and rest so that they can listen to God. Keri is a member of Willow Creek Community Church, where she has taught, led groups and volunteered in a variety of ministries for more than two decades. She and her husband, Scot, live with their teenage son and daughter in Illinois.