Thursday, February 25, 2010

How's Your Soil?

“…and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.”
Mark 4:17  The Parable of the Sower

My husband is a farmer. He will be planting his crop as soon as the ground thaws a bit more. The process of sowing and reaping is a very real concept for us. We depend on it for our living. How much more important is this process when we depend on it for our effectiveness in the Kingdom, and even our eternal status.

The shallow, superficial state of character is a dangerous place to be. Someone comes by to share, or you read the word of God and say Yes, I want that—I agree. But since we are hardened on the outside by our own foolishness or negative outlook, the seed that was sown doesn’t have a way to send down roots that will sustain it in tough times. The wind just picks it up and carries it away.

If our wheat crop doesn’t have the right conditions to send down deep roots, several things happen. First, it will not get the nourishing water and nutrients that are vital to its health. Second, it will not produce the fruit—the wheat that it was meant to. Third, it will not survive any adversity. The snow, wind, and freezing temperatures will kill it where it stands. The roots are what make it survive. The deeper the better.

How clever of Jesus to use this cycle of life as a parable to explain the importance of environment. If you do not cultivate the ground, or in this case your heart, the roots will have no chance. Those of us who take for granted the opportunities to prepare our soil will lose out on the harvest.

There is nothing more disturbing to a farmer than to see his seeds wasted. Or to see a field of wheat destroyed by disaster. How must God feel when He so graciously and lovingly plants the eternal seeds, only to see them whither and die? He has provided everything we need to send down good roots, and be strong enough to remain standing.

Dear Lord, I receive your seeds of life, and I will make sure that my soil is in good condition to provide growth and health for my spiritual life.  

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