Sunday, July 30, 2017

How's your soil?

“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died.  Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Matthew 13:4-9 NLT

It is not easy to cultivate good, fertile soil. For a long time when I read this parable of Jesus, I thought that good soil just happens. You are either good soil or shallow, weedy or rocky soil. But I realize good soil doesn't just automatically happen, either in my garden or in my heart. The Gardener has to be able to dig into the soil, to amend the soil with material that will make growth happen. Weeds must be pulled. And most importantly, I must give the Gardener access to my heart/soil for growth to happen. I now see it takes surrender to the Master Gardener's work in my heart in order for me to become "good soil."  I am learning that the surrender is not just a one time event but an ongoing process, often having to be repeated many times to take us to varying levels of growth. I'm glad my Master Gardener knows exactly how much and when to amend my soil to produce a fertile place for seeds to be planted and growth to take place.

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