There is something about the smell of freshly ploughed soil that is just so good. It has a rich brown colour and enough moisture to indicate that it is ready for seeds to be planted, germinate and grow. Farmers know every stage of hoping and waiting for rain, so that their lands can be prepared for crops to flourish. And once they have planted the seeds, the ground still needs enough rain and care from weeds and pests. For this, they need to not only trust the Lord for rain and sunshine, but also ask for wisdom on how and when to tend to their growing crops.
In Matthew 13:3-9 Jesus tells the Parable of the Sower, where a farmer goes out to sow his seeds. Some seeds were eaten by the birds, others landed on rocky places without much soil and were scorched by the sun because they had no roots, and some landed between thorns that choked up the plants. But then we read in verse 8-9: ‘Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear’.
Jesus then goes on to explain this parable in verse 18-23 in a very practical way. In verse 15 He says: ‘For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them’.
Why do our hearts become calloused? Why do we get ‘stuck’ and not allow God’s truth to become our reality? There are many reasons why this happens, and each of our lives are different, but the enemy is relentless in his efforts to turn our hearts from the Lord. It can be because of sin in our lives or hurts that bring deep pain. These are the thorns and rocks which prevent us from allowing God’s love and truth to flourish in our lives. We harbour anger, resentment, pride, arrogance, jealousy, discontent, inferiority, guilt, judgement, disappointment, hurt, rejection - to name but a few - and this becomes the reality which we live by.
What can we do about this? Like the farmer, we need to actively be involved in our own ‘soil’ in order to ensure that the Lord’s love and truth (His seeds), find a place in our hearts to germinate and grow. We do this by bringing to Him everything that has happened to us, every sin and every hurt - the thorns, rocks, weeds and dry areas - and by this we are allowing Him into our lives so that He can bring healing and hope. We also need to allow Him to show us those hidden hurts and sins that we are not aware of. You may not understand this, but if you just take one step towards Him, He will meet you in the place where you are at. He will bring rain to the dry parts of your life, strengthen your roots, remove the weeds, and you will produce fruit for what He purposed for your life.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I long to experience Your blessing in my life and to believe that Your truth and love is also for me. I bring to You all my pain, and my sin, and ask that You bring healing and hope. Where I have closed my heart to You, please forgive me. I long to live with an open heart to be able to hear and see Your goodness in my life. Amen.
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