A farmer went out to sow his seed. Matthew 13:3
For me personally, the most powerful parable is the parable of the sower. In this story, a man goes out to scatter seeds during planting time. They fall in four different growing environments. Three of them fall in poor soil conditions and good results are impossible. Ah, but the fourth produces something stunning.
This parable has spoken to me so powerfully for the past several years that the truth of the soil types is on my mind constantly. I’ve almost become obsessed by the fourth soil type and I’ve grown to covet its germinating environment.
For the next several days, I want to write about this parable, taking my time with each part of the story.
Jesus related this parable to a crowd in Judea. As He spoke it, they sat on a hillside – probably watching people sow seeds because the hills around the Sea of Galilee were ringed with fields. Jesus knew how to bring a point home by relating a story in a context people understood. As they watched it, He would reference it, and then go on to make His kingdom analogy. Can you picture yourself sitting there before the Storyteller? Is your heart childlike to drink in the meaning?
Would you join me in asking God to open your heart to Jesus’ message? Because of my life’s story, I am often resistant to the teachings of the kingdom. I can’t believe Jesus’ claims. I stumble over His way of doing things. The seed simply falls in resistant soil. What has to happen for bad soil to be transformed into a pristine soil environment? That’s the stuff of what’s coming in the next few devotionals.
I close my eyes and envision what happens when God’s Word falls in nutrient-rich, aerated soil. I see it unfold in slow motion. As soon as it lands, life springs into the seed and the miracle of growth begins. Seeds burst and the damp environment nurtures it to begin its life. Ultimately, the cumulative effect is that I will emerge into the tree in Psalm 1; breathtaking, spiritually graceful, with my boughs hanging over the riverbank. My roots are dug deeply into the resources of Christ and bearing fruit is instinctive – not laborsome. Bad storms will come and go, they will bend my branches but no matter the ferocity, the tree stands. What God plants, nothing can destroy.
You are my Gardener, my Husbandman. Assess the soil of my heart. Diagnose it and give me the courage to hear it and then let you work with it until it’s right. In Jesus’ name, Amen