Look to the Weeds by Catherine Hershberger

“…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” Romans 5:2-3 (ESV)

Photo © 2017 C. Hershberger

The other day I was searching for a rose quote to go with some of my rose pictures for a garden post I was planning on my author site. My objective was to talk about the lovely scents, beauty, and joy roses can contribute to one’s garden. Instead, I found this quote about weeds.

“When life is not coming up roses

Look to the weeds and find the beauty hidden within them.”

L.F.Young

The phrase “find the beauty hidden within them”—them being weeds—stuck with me.

Beauty in weeds? That almost sounds like an oxymoron: two contradictory elements put together. After all, what gardener, or non-gardener even, thinks weeds are beautiful? Isn’t a smooth, manicured expanse of green grass much more pleasing than a lawn filled with lumpy and unruly weeds?

But the author of this quote was on to something that we often forget when we’re in the midst of troubles and trials. Even weeds have a purpose, and in many cases the blooms on a weed are as beautiful as our prized flowers.

As a gardener I must confess that I don’t like weeds very much. They muck up my nice flowerbeds. Grow in places that are hard to weed, and they are difficult to eradicate. It’s also a losing battle to keep the unwanted plants in my garden beds from blooming. A single blossom can result in hundreds or thousands more weeds. But, when I haven’t yanked them out, I have found some beautiful surprises—both physical and spiritual.

For example—the most common of weeds in any gardener’s yard is the lowly dandelion. Gardeners ruthlessly eradicate them, splashing poisonous herbicides across the lawn. But perhaps we should stop and reconsider our actions. This hated weed can serve a purpose. The leaves are edible as salad greens, as long as you haven’t sprayed chemicals on them. If I were starving in a forest, the dandelion is the one plant I could recognize and eat. I’d consider that a hidden beauty if I were hungry enough to forage for food in the wild.

A bunch of these cheery yellow flowers clutched in a small hand and presented to you as a gift is a bouquet that never fades from your memory. I remember all the nosegays my daughter picked for me and the pride with which she delivered her weedy gift. In her childish vision, she recognized beauty where I saw none. Something we adults need to rediscover.

When you carefully pluck the dandelion’s fragile, cottony seed head and tell your child to blow and make a wish—spreading the tiny seeds to the wind—you create an experience you both will remember all your lives. Trust me, watching a thousand seeds float into your lawn is worth the joyful giggles you’ll hear as your child chases the drifting seeds around the yard.

This is just one example of how the lowly weed can be a blessing. I’m sure if you think about the weeds in your life, and the playful things you’ve done with weeds in the garden, you can find the hidden blessing in weeds.

As the literal weed can unwittingly be a blessing, and so can the figurative weed mentioned in the opening quote of this post. So the next time your life isn’t coming up roses, consider the weeds and why they grow. That weed in your garden’s life, which you hate or don’t think you can bear, may contain a lesson you need to learn, be the impetus to make a needed change in your life, provide an example you need to set or see, or be a blessing to discover in the midst of the turmoil. While you are looking for those hidden blessings, remember that “…for those who love God all things work together for good…” Romans 8:28 (ESV).

Do you have a hidden weed blessing in your life?

About the Author:

Catherine is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. She is also an award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. Many of her devotions have appeared on various places on the internet. You can find her books on her Amazon Author page or at Barnes and Noble.

Women’s Devotions, trial, suffering, hidden blessing, weed in the garden