It doesn’t make me unique to say worry comes naturally.
I all too often find myself fixed to the spiral that inevitably unravels into collections of “what ifs” and “if onlys.” It’s in moments of awareness about my own propensity to plunge into presentiment that God often brings peace to my mind.
I’m a relatively new homeowner and am admittedly not the best lawn manicurist, so it stands to reason the green in my yard is made up more of weeds than bonafide grass. As such, the carpets of vegetation stretching from my front stoop and back door are spotted with patches of dandelions.
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To most, it’s an unsightly mess. But as I was watching my brown and white toy Australian Shepherd sniff around one sunny afternoon, I found a bit of God’s character sprouting from the weeds my dog was brushing up against.
The words Jesus spoke to His disciples in Matthew 6 resonated in a new way.
He told His disciples not to be anxious — a task often easier said that done — because God sees to it that even the birds of the air have food and that the earth is clothed in grass.
In that moment, sitting in my backyard, I realized something even deeper, something altogether foreign to our human inclinations: God’s provision isn’t tethered to our performance.
I looked at the weeds, and knew they shouldn’t be there. In the same way I can look at the wrong decisions I’ve made, the ways I’ve been hurt by others, the pain I’ve caused to those I love, and know, These things shouldn’t be there.
Even still, if we yield these things to God, we can be certain they will be useful. They will be useful in the same we dandelions are useful.
Buzzing around my dog — and around me, too — were what seemed like scores of bees, all competing for the dandelions peppered around my yard, flowers that wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the weeds.
This isn’t to say we should go out and live as if there is no consequence. The apostle Paul warned against that very propensity in Romans 6, reminding us of the great cost Jesus paid in His death, burial, and resurrection. Because of God’s sacrifice for us on the cross, we are called to “die to sin” and “walk in newness of life.”
But we live in a fallen and fractured world. Sin still happens. Weeds still grow.
Staring out at the yellow flowers jutting up from my shaggy yard, God reminded me of Paul’s words just a couple chapters later, in Romans 8, when he declared that the “sufferings of this present time” — the weeds sprouting up in this temporary home — “are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
In this season, God still offers us glimpses of His eternal goodness. Even in the brokenness, He brings forth life. In those dandelions, as pesky as we might think they are, the Lord is reminding us that, for those who love Him, “all things work together for good.”
Even in the weeds of this life — the disappointments and devastations, the sorrows and traumas, the mistakes and misunderstandings — God is providing.
“Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’” Jesus said (Matthew 6). “For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
God’s provision doesn’t always look how we think it should look, and it doesn’t always come when we think it should. But it’s always there.
So when you’re searching for peace, look for the dandelions.