Weeds among the wheat

Tares and wheat copy

I’m no expert on farming, but I just saw one of the most beautiful fields of wheat I’ve ever seen in the Valley of Elah.

It was thick, golden and perfect.

Except, of course, for the weeds.

Scattered across the wheat field were little pockets of weeds. Some were tall and green. Others were brown and full of nasty thorns.

Sometimes the weeds dominated an area, kind of like a gang of young thugs hanging around a lamppost in a dark corner of town. These weeds were a fight waiting to happen.

In the valley I saw today, removing a few weeds would, indeed, resemble a fight. Removing the weeds would require trampling on some good wheat. Yanking out a bad stalk of thistle would also destroy the roots of several stalks of wheat.

The farmer who’d planted the wheat field I saw has obviously decided to let the weeds go … for now. One day soon a harvesting machine is going to roll over that valley, and the weeds aren’t going to like what happens next.

Jesus once used this same imagery in a story.

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field,” Jesus said. “But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away.  When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.

“The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’

“‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.

“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.

“‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’” (Matthew 13:24-30)

Whether you’re talking about wheat a coming Day of Judgment, things are only going to be sorted out at harvest time.

Which is exactly the point.

Sometimes it feels all is lost in the world around us. “Traditional values” have been flushed down a neutral-gender toilet. Most churches are getting smaller. Living the Christian life is getting more and more difficult.

In the midst of the struggle, stay focused on the truth.

God’s in control, and the harvest is coming.

Just make sure you’re part of the crop He’s keeping!