So let us not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Dandelions. Those wispy flowers that can grow in the most unlikely of places. One which most see as only a common pest. A weed. Yet, to another a sign of joy and happiness in the dark and dreary mountain of obstacles in our way. A blessing for the one who chooses to stop and take in its overlooked beauty.
The dandelion is also said to be a symbol of perseverance. However, often in the midst of walking in the gardens we nourish as ministers of His word, we may lose sight of the beauty before us. All we see are the weeds.
Sometimes in the middle of doing, planning, and being the hands and feet we are called to be as ministers of His love and grace, it can be hard to see the lives and people who have been touched by it. Instead it seems all we have encountered is one more battle, uphill climb, or discouragement after another.
Enough to want to give up.
In my role as a children’s pastor, the fruit of all the seeds planted weekly can be tough to see peeking through that soil. When you can see the flowers sprouting physically before your eyes, having fun, smiling, and reciting verses and stories taught to them over the years, there are also times when it is difficult to see through the weeds of disobedience, disconnect, and complacency that plagues this garden, too. The weeds that grow around carefully planned lessons and programs to hopefully encourage them to engage and draw closer to God, seem to only grow taller among criticism, “should have done this that ways, and “could have done that betters.”
Some days it is hard to see the blessing over the weeds. Some days you start to desperately look for an exit. But, you continue to say “yes.” Be obedient, anyway.
And, I continued to be obedient to Him as I made calls, texts, and emails to schedule gift delivery again this year for our annual participation in the Angel Tree ministry. As I watched all the gifts trickle in. Saw them all pretty and wrapped in front of the tree. Ready to bless families of those behind bars. I began to see the weeds again. The calls not returned. The preparation. The work. The late nights. The discouragement of those who just couldn’t offer redemption. Planting seeds of love and grace I was certain I would never see bloom.
The weeds grew taller. I wanted to give up. Maybe even not sign-up next year. I couldn’t see through the weeds, and I needed an exit.
Some blessings can’t be seen over those weeds. But, you get up. Show up, because He says to. You continue to say “yes.” To be obedient.
You work in that garden once again, and finally you see it. The blessing. In the flesh. Standing before you. Blessing you.
As I reached for the gifts for those who had come to take them home to their children, I realized what stood in front of me was what I would have missed if I had stopped being obedient. If I had let the weeds stop me from doing His will.
Here was the gentleman we had been showing hope. Here was the woman we had been blessing through it all. Whose kids we reached out to each year. Blessing me.
Thank God He removed those weeds.
So, if you two happen to be reading this. Thanks for being obedient. For bringing encouragement to a minister who was deeply discouraged. For reminding me that His light and grace does shine through all those weeds in this garden. That redemption is real and standing here right before us.
You are the blessing in those weeds. Thanks for reminding me of the reason I continue to say “yes.”
So, to anyone stuck in a garden you have sowed, over and over. Unable to see your harvest because the weeds of doubt, insecurity, envy, and fatigue are too tall-I pray this Christmas you will be given a dandelion of hope among those weeds. That you are blessed by something or someone that helps you see past the muck. That encourages you to continue to say “yes” to God. To continue, even when you want to give up.
And, if you have been blessed by someone-return it. Show them the grace, love and hope given to you. Bursting forth among all those weeds.
“Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back-given back with bonus and blessing. Luke 6:38, MSG