Serving the High Plains

Allow God to cultivate you positively as a Christian

Monday is Labor Day, the last summer holiday, although most schools, including colleges and universities, already have started classes. So be careful of young people walking, running and playing on their way to school.

Anyway, appropriate labor is a God-given gift for our good (Genesis 2:8-15; Ecclesiastes 5:18-20). Those refusing to do the work God prepared for them really miss out on the joy he wants for them in this life and the next (Ephesians 2:10). That joy from work includes successfully cultivating young minds to become productive citizens of our country and, hopefully, heaven.

I had several opportunities over summer to cultivate my grandson’s work ethic by having him help me pull weeds from my garden.

Later, I recalled that God walked through his garden to have fellowship with humankind and, possibly, always since the fall for his people’s protection (Genesis 3:8; Leviticus 26:11-12; Deuteronomy 23:14). He still does that when we keep everything unclean out of our camp, such as weeds in our garden (1 John 1:5-9; 3:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:15, 19-22).

Sometimes God uses those times of fellowship as very teachable moments, even reminding us that the food and children crops we tend are his also, but he uses us to promote the growth (1 Corinthians 3:5-9). However, if we don’t do the work, he’ll get it done without us (Esther 4:1-15; Luke 19:37-40; Isaiah 55:10-11).

As I mentioned, we were pulling weeds that must have been sown by the devil himself, but God provided the rain that softened the soil, making the pulling easier (Matthew 13:26-30, 36-43). Once, I reached for one weed but grabbed two stems. Thinking one might not be a weed, I let go and reached again making sure to only pull the weed as I said under my breath, “Thank you for not letting me pull that corn plant.”

As it turned out, what I thought was a corn plant turned out on second look to be a weed. So, I pulled it, thanking God for helping me know the difference between weeds and crops (Hebrews 5:11-14).

Then I realized while I was cultivating my garden and my grandson, God was cultivating me and helping me see and remove the weeds in my life (John 15:1-8). This time, like softening the ground making it easy to pull the weeds, he simply gave me a gentle reminder.

Other times, because I’ve allowed the weeds of sin to become deeply rooted in my life and the ground to harden, God has to take more of a mesquite-grubbing approach, but he’s always careful to avoid weeding me out. I can be productive for him rather than a weed that wastes water and other resources God provides, including sunlight (Hebrews 12:4-11; 6:7-12; Luke 8:4-15; John 8:12; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6; Philippians 2:12-16; Matthew 5:14-16; 25:14-30).

Are you allowing God to cultivate you as a Christian? Are you helping to positively cultivate others to make for a better America all-around and leading them to become citizens of heaven?

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan who writes about faith for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at [email protected].