Everything in creation has a name. Everything created serves a purpose. Even weeds.

In fact, by the very definition, a weed is simply a  plant in an undesired place. I have a growing affinity for these so-called mislocated plants. When I venture down a road and take in that which lines my path- white Queen Anne’s Lace and blue Bachelor’s Buttons, or behold a field strewn in the rich hue of Goldenrod, I cannot help but praise the Creator for them.

Photo By Emmilou Harlan

For He has made everything beautiful in its time  (Ecc 3:11).

I remember the first time I thought to myself, “How good is God that He makes even weeds beautiful?” These plants that seemingly serve no purpose, or in the esteem of some only serve cantankerously, quite undeniably maintain an inherent beauty. I can begin to understand what this revels about God- if even in this sin-saturated, fallen world His beauty and glory are clearly seen. Yes, how much greater is He? How much greater the things that await us?

But what does this say about us? You see, I’ve identified myself with the weed. Regarded in the lowest esteem, counted or counting myself as good-for-nothing. and many times not even counted at all. What do I have that could possibly make a difference in God’s kingdom and in this world? With nothing to offer beside my very self, I considered the weeds before me. They are beautiful, yes. But I am a weed. I am not enough.

Yet this one is called Foxtail, and this Thistile…

Photo By Emmilou Harlan

Photo By Emmilou Harlan

Yes, in fact, God has arranged the parts in the body, each one of them, just as He wanted them to be   (1 Cor 12:18).

From nature’s perspective, there is no such thing as a weed. It is man who labels it, and the accuser points his finger. One may be labeled as bereft of value or use, but in God’s kingdom, all are valuable and all are essential! These weeds grow to a hymn of beauty, and this reminds me of God’s beautiful purpose for me and an unfathomably sacred value in the life He’s given me. In the life He gives each of us.

What I lack is not important. He will give me what I need. After all, He gave me my name, and I am called His. No, I cannot give what I don’t have, but what I do have I give it all to my Maker. I have a heart that belongs to Him. I am His creation. He made me me. He made you you.

Photo By Emmilou Harlan

In vain I have made comparisons to others- a sweet smelling Rose or a mighty Oak- and have come up short every time. Finally I understand, I am not called to be like anyone else other than Jesus Christ. Thankfulness floods my heart for the work of His hands. For all that I see and have, He is there. And for all the unseen and what I have not, He is there, too. So with all that I am and all that I’m not, with everything I have and everything I don’t, I offer this life back to my Maker. In His hands His purposes will be accomplished. My dependence is on the One who is able, and so much stronger than I could ever be. My heart’s focus is tuned to the One who is the Way. And though it feels I sometimes have nothing to give, with  my love and obedience, He will do more with His part than I could even deem possible. And somehow, He will weave this weed’s short life into His beautiful story.

But now this is what the Lord says- He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine (Isaiah 43:1).

Photo By Emmilou Harlan

All Photos by Emmilou Harlan

Emmilou Harlan

Emmilou's work is inspired by where she's from and by what I hold dearest in her heart- her faith in Jesus Christ. She grew up in a small rural area, where the hog pen at her grandparents’ farm was her childhood fort. These memories and experiences, have been instrumental in shaping who she is and the work she does. With cockleburs in her hair and an unobstructed view of the horizon, Emmilou grew up in revelry of the beauty of where God has placed her. She loves to notice His hand in all that is good around her, even in the midst of many mistakes and failures. He is her inspiration, and it is her delight to be able to capture glimpses of the Creator’s glory through the beauty of his creation. "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalm 27:13).

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