Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Matthew 13:5-6, 20-21
My husband’s best friend went to the Holy Land for the first time several years ago. One of the first things he related upon his return home was the challenge he faced when trying to walk in the Judean desert. He said, “It’s hard to concentrate on anything except the rocky terrain. If you take your eyes off your feet, you will fall.” But are these the rocks that Jesus is talking about in this parable? Probably not.
In Judea, just beneath the depth of the plow’s blade, layers of limestone rock ruin chances of a successful crop. The seeds go into warm soil and germinate but when their roots hit the rock bed, they can’t go deeper. All the plant’s energy moves up. At the surface, all appears to be well as the plant grows at fast speed. The farmer thinks that it’s the best crop he’s ever had but shallow soil produces a weak plant. After a good first impression, the plant withers.
If I have a limestone foundation, spiritually, then I have a positive emotional reaction to spiritual things. I hear the truth, I’m even enthusiastic about the message, but in the end, they were just beautiful concepts. The roots didn’t go down deep because of bad foundations, such as ~
- Major issues I preferred to ignore that choked out the Word.
- Blind spots I was unwilling to see that made the message unpalatable.
- Stumbling blocks toward God that arose under pain and suffering. Past pain unearthed some bad theology about God’s character and I chose to live in lies rather than truth.
What is the cure? Being willing to do what most children of God never do ~ allow God to expose spiritual limestone. Through prayer, study, and meditation, God shines His light on what has firmly embedded over time in my soul. That is why David prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” Ps. 139:23 Oftentimes, I don’t even know what’s down there but God does. Though He may bring truth and conviction, grace comes on its heels. Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Psalm 85:10
The deepest part of me, only You know. Move in, clean house, and then re-arrange me with freedom. In Jesus’ name, Amen