Bumper Crop

By Mark Hopper

I always say that the nicest days in California are the days after it has rained. We have enjoyed some beautiful weather the past few weeks thanks to string of winter storms that brought blue skies, white puffy clouds and crystal clean air. It reminds you why Southern California is such a nice place to live.

The rain also causes our hillsides to turn green. We get accustomed to the brown scenery most of the year. It is amazing to see the parched hillsides transformed with beautiful dark green vegetation. The snow capped peaks add a lovely contrast that makes the picture complete. Blue skies, green hillsides and fresh snow covered mountain tops complete the painting.

However, I have noticed that all the winter rain has also produced a bumper crop of dark green weeds in my garden. I think I pulled out more weeds from my garden this year than any in recent history. They were big, healthy weeds that covered most of my winter strawberry plants.

Many of these healthy weeds were six to eight inches high! Where did they come from? How did they grow so fast?  Who is responsible for this weed epidemic? I suppose I share most of the responsibility since I didn’t go out to the garden during the last few rain filled weeks. I’m sure that my absence and neglect contributed to the weed infestation.

It took me a couple of hours to pull all of the weeds out. It didn’t completely fill my “green” garbage can, but I was surprised at how much space it did fill up. Hopefully the trash company will appreciate my efforts and recycle all of this “green” material. It really was a bumper crop of weeds this year.

One problem with weeds is that they have seeds. They reproduce like rabbits and they keep coming back. Gardening is an unending struggle against the forces of nature. It is a fact of life that weeds produce seeds and those seeds keep producing more weeds!

Did you know that weeds are actually mentioned in the Bible? The early chapters of Genesis provide a remarkable account of how God created the world and the people, plants and animals that live on the earth. God provided food for all living things. But, when the man (Adam) disobeyed God, the man had to start raising his own food and so the struggle began – man verses weeds!

The Bible says, “The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you will get your food the hard way, planting and tilling and harvesting, sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk” (Genesis 3:18-19 – from the Message Bible).

This is a helpful reminder. Our actions and decisions have consequences. When we do things that we know we should not do or when we don’t do things that we know we should do – there are consequences. When I neglect my garden, weeds gain a foothold and multiply. When I take time to tend my garden, the weeds are held at bay and we enjoy the fresh strawberries, tomatoes  and other vegetables.

This is true in our relationship with God and with other people. When we cultivate our relationships with God and others, we enjoy the benefits and blessings. When we neglect our relationship with God and others, we experience the consequences.

Let me encourage you to invest more of your time and energy in your relationship with God and with others. Don’t let the “weeds” get the upper hand. You will be glad you did and they will too!

Pastor Mark Hopper

Efree church of Diamond Bar

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd


Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM