Word Wednesday Nugget Flowers and Weeds


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Dr. Rebekah McCloud

I have a green thumb; my house is full of plants and sometimes accompanied by fresh flowers. I love dandelions; the beautiful yellow petals always remind me of summer. As a child, I would gather a bunch and put them in a cup next to my bed. Interestingly, a dandelion is not a flower but a weed. Flowers and weeds have many of the same properties; it is difficult to distinguish the two. Merriam-Webster Dictionary says a weed is not valued where it grows and usually outgrows or chokes out more desirable plants. Hence the saying, “A weed is a flower that grew in the wrong place.”

The Parable of the Weeds appears in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew. Verses 24-30 tell the story, verses 36-43 explain it. Briefly, a man plants good seeds, and while asleep, his enemy plants weeds (tares) among his crop. When the wheat starts to grow, so do the identical looking weeds. Pulling the weeds may uproot the wheat, so the farmer wisely allows the two to grow together and separates them at harvest time.

Many of us have weeds in our lives (weaknesses, regrets, habits, disappointments, pain, failures, struggles, hurt, etc.). It is important not to let them overgrow and choke out the flowers. At times we can eradicate them and at other times we need help. While our naked eyes may not be able to identify the weeds from the flowers, be reminded that we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). The Bible provides some tips to help us along the way. Proverbs 13:20 reminds us to, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 cautions, “Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character,” and 2 Corinthians 10:5 encourages us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” The Lord, our champion, is always there with us. Romans 5:6 says, “For while we were still weak, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.”

In Matthew chapter 25, Jesus talks about a time of separation. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world,” (Matthew 25: 31-34).  He will tell those on the left to depart from him and cast them into the eternal flame (verse 31).

The harvest and the time of separation are near. Remember, one plants, one waters, and God gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3: 6-7). God has made everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Beloved, know that we are God’s flowers and the sheep on his right side. He says we are free and forgiven (Ephesians 1:7) and redeemed and called by name (Isaiah 43:1). The Lord is not slow in keeping his promises (2 Peter 3:9). He will separate the sheep from the goats and the weeds from the flowers.

Dr. Rebekah McCloud

More than 40 years of service in education (K-12 and higher education). Authored more than 100 publications , made more than 200 presentations, designed workshops, and facilitated training.  

Rebekah McCloud is a retired faculty administrator who last served as the Executive Director of TRIO Programs at the University of Central Florida. She has one video in the C-SPAN Video Library; the first appearance was a 1999 Forum.

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