Page 144 was supposed to have an early start to meet the pest control guy at work by 6 AM but my alarm didn’t do its job so I was running just a little bit late. Fortunately, my co-worker and good friend David was there to let him in so that he was already started with the service and treatment when I arrived. Once that was taken care of I worked on cleaning bathrooms and hallways as I got the building ready for the final week of school before summer break. It’s a Monday so I spent time working on next week’s prayer guide that will focus on holiness. God calls for us to be holy as He is holy and since we obviously fall short in that regard on our own, it is important to pray and seek an understanding of God’s holiness that He desires we reflect through the power of His Spirit within us. Once the prayer guide was complete, I began working on one for the following week as I’ll be on vacation next week when I would normally write it. It’s not finished yet but I made good progress before stopping to spend some time working at getting the A/C operating in the building. Once it was up and running I realized that it was already mid-afternoon and I hadn’t had lunch. So I finished up my workday and headed to lunch before going home for the day.
The work didn’t stop once I made it home as the garden needed tilled and the lawn mowed this week before we leave for vacation. As I tilled the garden, I thought about the parable of the soils — also known as the parable of the sower. 🙂 When I began, the entire area was covered with weeds and extremely hard. One area also included a lot of stones or small rocks. As I continued to work the soil, it ranged from hard ground around the edges which nothing could penetrate to a ring of weedy areas as the hard ground began to transition into the tilled ground. Then there was some rocky areas with stones and rock hard clods of dirt before finally getting to the soft rich soil where the garden plants will grow best. I think this garden plot may describe the heart of most people better than the picture we sometimes get when we hear the parable as told by Jesus. Most of the time when I hear, and even tell, that parable the focus is on determining what type of soil each person is. While there are probably some people whose life mostly represents one type of the soil mentioned, I think most of us have areas of each type of soil in our life that we must recognize so they can be dealt with appropriately. Sometimes we think of the hardened life as being hopeless, yet it only lacks hope as long as it remains hard. While it takes much work to break up hardened ground, it is possible. The hardened areas of our heart and life don’t have to remain hardened if we spend the time in prayer and repentance necessary for God to soften our heart. The rocky ground also requires much work but it too can be made into good soil as we remove the heart of stone and allow God to replace it with a heart of flesh. Any garden that I’ve ever been around is soon filled with weeds if left untended. The weedy ground that is filled with thorns also doesn’t have to remain that way if we would spend time resting in the presence of God as we cast all our cares upon Him. The good soil in our life isn’t a natural occurrence — it comes as a supernatural working of the Spirit of God as we allow Him to break up the hardness of our heart, to remove the stones of stumbling, to pull the weeds of sin, and to keep the soil of our life tilled and filled with proper nutrients through prayer and His Word.
I pray that you and I would spend time with God fully examining the types of soil that are present in our lives. I pray that our examination would reveal work that we need to do and work that we need to allow God to do. I pray that we would put the time and effort necessary into becoming the life in which the Word of God puts down good roots and grows and produces much fruit.