Lord Jesus, help me to keep my eyes on Your Kingdom so that I might live vigorously in this world, leaving all the results to You.
Consider: "God is in control, despite our efforts to hurry him up. His kingdom is growing, despite a stealthy and malicious enemy trying to undermine it" (Paul Woodbridge).
Jesus takes us to the place between the times--between the kingdom's entrance and its final coming, between the time of sowing and the final harvest. It is in this middle time that we have to learn to wait and surrender. The Jews expected the Messiah to convincingly and decisively defeat the Romans. So often we expect God to intervene into all our evil and nightmares, instantly crushing it all. It rocks us when we peer out into the kingdom's garden. Overnight, a dark and ugly power has taken root where only the harvest is supposed to be. Jesus addresses the impulse in all of us to make a frontal assault on evil, to rip the weeds out immediately, to ferret out imperfection through our own wisdom. "No," he says. "Let them grow together for now. I'll take care of it in the judgment."
Isn't there a joy here--unnoticed and submerged--which can pass us like a mist? Jesus is telling us that we enter his joy through the act of surrender. In the end (and at our waking breath at each day's dawning) we are learning to say: "God, I am not in charge. I can't fix evil. I can't fix my family. I can't mend the dark impulses in my own heart. I am leaving the separation of weeds and wheat to your judgment. I am not the last word." We have all known people whose dominating purpose in life was the humorless assault on imperfection. Instead we are called to shine like the sun in the kingdom of our Father (43), to relax into his sovereign purposes--in the middle times, where everything is unfixed and filled with twilight.
This is not surrender to evil or passivity. It is the glad surrender to our final judge and redeemer.
Apply: Who are the people in your life whom you have marked indelibly as hopeless weeds? As you name them, release them now into the Lord's wise and merciful hands.
Jesus, I fall to my knees and confess how many wretched weeds live in the subterranean regions of my own heart. Thank You for dying for the evil within me, even though You know the truth about me.
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