Is it not small?

Zoar. It was just a small town, but the results of settling there was far from insignificant. That’s what I was thinking about this morning as I pulled out several hundred tiny weeds from around the hydrangeas.

Last week saw temperatures near zero in our area, and the tropical plants that usually live in the garage over the winter froze solid, soil and all. Gone is the seven-foot potted brugmansia that I grew from an eight-inch cutting several years ago. O, how the mighty have fallen!

And yet, the half-inch tall weed sprouts outside in the garden are as healthy as can be! If anyone gets a constant reminder that life isn’t fair, it is the home gardener.

Those little weeds took the better part of the day to remove. But why worry about tiny sprouts that seem thin as hair? Most of the tiny things had little more than their cotyledons, the first two leaves that appear as the seed is sprouting.

As I pulled them away from the hydrangea stems out of the soggy winter soil, I was surprised at the length of the spindly roots. Some were a good four inches long! In a few more weeks of our now balmy weather, they would be problematic to extricate from the good plants.

Were they not small? Yes…relatively. My back and neck are already telling me that I will pay a price for doing a few hours of weeding, small or not! My gardening muscles must be out of shape already.

The old adage tells us, “A stitch in time saves nine.” Similarly, a few hours of removing small seedlings of weeds (can I call them “weedlings?”) might save me a couple days of hard labor tugging at bigger garden thugs. My concern is that once the weeds get larger, I might accidentally damage the good plants when I pull out the bad ones.

Yes, the work had to be done. It was better to have done it while the “weedlings” were small. That doesn’t mean I won’t be reaching for a heating pad for my back later today!

We tend to underestimate the “small things.” Lot did.

When your city gets burned up by fire and brimstone, and your wife turns to a pillar of salt as you are running away, you might come down with post-traumatic stress disorder. I get it. Lot was naturally trying to get away from people!

The little insignificant, small Zoar was not small enough. Lot decided to leave Zoar and become a cave man (Genesis 19:30).

He and his daughters left a large metropolis that was so plagued by sin that God couldn’t find ten righteous people in it. He then cut himself and his daughters off from contact with society. His circle went from huge to tiny.

Because of this drastically reduced social circle, his daughters took it upon themselves to find an ungodly way of carrying on the family name. (If you are not familiar with this account, read Genesis 19:30-38.)

As a result, two nations came about that were enemies to the nation of Israel (2 Kings 24:2).

Was Zoar not small? Wasn’t the cave even smaller? And yet, sin had a way of finding this little refugee family, and the result was larger than Lot’s daughters could ever have imagined.

Retreating away from society may be necessary at times, and we certainly don’t want to be comfortable around sin. But smaller isn’t always safer, if we don’t guard ourselves.

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Christine (Tina) Berglund

Christine lives in middle Tennessee with her husband Gary, a.k.a. "The Yard Boy." They have served churches in eight states where Gary has preached full-time most of their married lives. The children have flown the nest, but they "baby" their plants now, and even get to visit grandchildren once in a while.

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3 thoughts on “Is it not small?

  1. This was an amazing article, with wonderful applications. You should have a devotional book published from your gardening experiences, and the spiritual parallels they provide. It would make a top-notch ladies’ class book, or family devotional. Just excellent. God works mightily through you.

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