These words have been prayed over. Your heart has been prayed over.

Before reading my words, I ask that you read Jesus’ words in Matthew 13:24-30, and 36-43, if you’re an overachiever.

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like someone who planted good seed in his field. 25 While people were sleeping, an enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat and went away. 26 When the stalks sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared.27 “The servants of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Master, didn’t you plant good seed in your field? Then how is it that it has weeds?’28 “‘An enemy has done this,’ he answered.“The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them?’29 “But the landowner said, ‘No, because if you gather the weeds, you’ll pull up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow side by side until the harvest. And at harvest time I’ll say to the harvesters, “First gather the weeds and tie them together in bundles to be burned. But bring the wheat into my barn.”

“But bring the wheat into my barn.”

In the parable of the weeds, the weeds are identified as sabotages in the life of the Christian. Jesus describes the ill-intented vegetation as “all things that cause people to fall away.” For you, it may be a struggle with gossip, or with laziness, or with overworking, or with anxiety. Weeds are virtually anything that disrupt our communion with God.

“Weeds are one of the major threats to the natural environment. They are destroying native habitats, threatening native plants and animals and choking our natural systems.” Similarly, our weeds are just as vicious to our emotional, spiritual, and even physical states. And oftentimes, confrontations with them give us a very real awareness of our flaws. They poke and prod at wounds we’d thought had healed, tending to leave us feeling worn. Have you felt that? Have you ever just been tired? So tired of fighting the same fight, dealing with the same struggle, day in and day out?

Tired of feeling the reoccurring pains of loneliness? Tired of believing the lies of unworthiness? Tired of always wanting, of never being satisfied?

This kind of tired seems to seep into my bones. It makes me walk heavier. Care less. I find myself asking, “what’s the point? What’s the point if I can’t ever get it right?” My unsettled spirit gradually drowns out Jesus’ beckoning. I convince myself that Jesus doesn’t really know what He’s asking for when He’s asking for me. I’m a mess. Truly. He’s better off.

Ha.

It’s easy to forget Jesus knows about the weeds. He knows where my thirsty heart has wandered when I’ve left his presence. He knows of the secret wrestles with my tormenting sins. This doesn’t come as a shock to him. He knows. And still He says,

“But bring the wheat into my barn.”

My frustration quickly turns to despair. I begin to feel so broken. So irreparable. So hopeless.

But God.

But God responds to my desperation with Himself saying, “happy are people who are hopeless, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs.” Saying, I’m all the hope you could ever need. Saying, look Aziza, look.

And so I look.

I look at God the Father, the Mother, and I allow him to “carry [me] close to His heart” (Is.40:11). I stop resisting. I sink deeper within His arms. I begin to scoff, laugh even, at the delusion that I could somehow lose God’s validation. That I would no longer be welcome. Friends. My struggle, your struggle against the weeds have not and will not disqualify us from the family. God continues to want us. The community continues to want us.

Notice that the wheat continued to sprout and produce. Likewise, you continue to sprout and produce. Your worth has not been undermined. Your growth has not been stopped. These weeds are painful, yes. They may have gotten the best of you, yes. But your fight isn’t over. And the God “who began a good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished” (Phil. 1:6). He will renew your strength, so that you “soar on wings like eagles; [you] will run and not grow weary, [you] will walk and not be faint” (Is. 40:31). And so, pray, worship, commune because the same God who has brought you this far, will take you further.

Much love friends.

Aziza Gore
JU Intern

February 14, 2018