|(photo from beechwoodcross.blogspot.com|
There’s a lot to ponder in the parable of the sower, sometimes called the parable of the soils. Here, a seed of faith is planted in soil we find in three different conditions; weedy, rocky soil; shallow soil and good soil.
If the soil is in bad shape, the Good Gardener works on the soil before He expects the seed to grow and produce.
The soil of our lives may be fertile and ready to receive, it might be shallow and dusty or perhaps rocky, weedy and all around in crummy shape. The condition of the soil could be because of curses declared, or repeated bad choices on our part, or because of the sinfulness of others. Whatever the case, the Gardener has His work cut out for Him. And, it won’t be easy, at least, not looking at the task through our human eyes. But, what gardener doesn’t love a good challenge?
As for us, in general, it’s anything but painless. Most of the things in my life worth having are worth fighting for. Whether it’s a healthy body, a great marriage, safe children or strong faith, the battles waged must be well-fought; the ground taken, well-maintained.
The enemy of our soul often comes against the things we hold dear; our families, our health, our finances – all in an effort to defeat the object of God’s affections.
When our Good Gardener gets to work in our lives, He may need to saturate us with His living water to break up the hardened clay to make it moveable. He may need to pull up weeds; not merely mowing them down, but securing the roots to prevent regrowth. He may need to remove rocks and boulders and even out the ground. He may need to add fertilizer and plow it in deep, turning the dirt over time and time again. Not that I imagine actual soil feeling the pain of intrusion or wincing at the pulling out of weeds and mourning the loss of the rocks it tried to hide under, but when the soil represents our lives, there is plenty of pain and wincing and mourning as God gets to work on His repairs, but He works in communion with us.
As soon as the property is handed over to the Great Gardener, He gets to work. Most likely, He’s been secretly planning long before the property was yielded to Him.
He doesn’t expect what we give Him to be in perfect condition as soon as it’s handed over. Our lives can take a lifetime to look as they were intended. The longer we wait to hand over the rights to our lives, the more futile our struggles become; the more hopeless life looks, the more we struggle with giving up altogether, and the angrier we project ourselves.
Don’t you love before and after pictures? What do you say we let Him get to work today?
“For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.” – Matthew 13:17-18 (KJV)
(The entire parable is found in several places within scripture. Read all of the Matthew chapter 13 for more insight, especially verses 1-23. Verses 24-58 share other related parables.)