The Seedbed of Your Soul
"But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."- Matthew 13:8 (The Parable of the Sower)
For mother's day, my husband got me to pound posts for a new fence. It was the most excellent gift as I was finally getting the "yard" I had been craving for my children to play in. From that moment on, we have been working diligently to make the lawn like carpet.
We could not afford the roll-out turf, so we got out the rakes, bought a couple yards of topsoil, some grass seed, and a sprinkler...and went to work.
Of course, those of you who garden or work outside know, fresh soil can easily be overtaken by weeds; the birds come out and gobble up the seeds (its been a wonderful food source for the blue birds this year!); large rocks get in the way; or- seed falls on the soil, where a seedbed has been prepared and its roots can take hold.
In my yard, all of these things have happened, and I couldn't help to think that this sounded way too familiar! The Parable of the Sower in Matthew immediately came to mind. I was able to see first-hand, that where the best seedbed had been prepared I had grass like I had dreamed. It was a nice, thick, lush carpet of green.
As I worked on the patches of bare ground in the yard, I couldn't help but meditate on this story. What makes a good seedbed? What makes fertile soil?
In order to get any crop to grow, farmers and gardeners know that the soil must be tilled, or scarified. The definition of scarify is to make shallow incisions or to cut; to roughen or scratch the surface. These shallow incisions in the topsoil allow the seed to make good contact with the soil. After a little bit of watering, the seeds are then able to work their magic, suck nutrients out of the ground and finally produce a crop.
But, wait a minute. What's this got to do with the Parable? God's word is the seed in the parable and our hearts are the ground on which the seed falls. If our hearts are callous, bitter, cold or hardened- we don't give God's word much of a chance to take root. We can live life, knowing about God from a young age, but fall into the world, allowing the weeds (bad company, bad choices, bad influence) to crowd Him out. Hardened hearts sometimes need a little weeding; need a little surface scratching.
How do we get scratches? Well, unfortunately every scratch or scar I have gotten was either from some source of confrontation or painful experience. I have stepped on rakes and I've stepped on hearts...in fact, my heart has been stepped on a time or two as well. We all have a story. But, I never walked alone. Jesus was always right there with me, whether I acknowledged it or not. He always provided; He always loved; He always forgave.
You want to know the real revelation here? Its that fertile soil doesn't always happen the way we expect it to. Nature can ripen the even the oldest, hardest seeds after fire. The fertility comes when we see others walk through turmoil and come out on the other side still blessing others.
My heart has been scarified, then fertilized, by many things...
My heart has been scarified by watching my sister lose her son unexpectedly; and fertilized by seeing her continue to walk in God's grace by helping another family, not 3 months after her son's loss, walk through trying times with their son.
My heart has been scarified by watching my sister struggle with conception; and fertilized as she continues to walk by God's grace, at work every day in a clinic, helping other women in their walk to motherhood.
My heart has been scarified by watching my sister fight for her son and her daughter's health; and fertilized by watching her plunge into God's word, and by His grace, she wakes up every day and provides for them the best she can.
My heart has been scarified by watching my sister fight breast cancer twice; and fertilized as she swears, by God's grace, to pay it forward by helping others walk toward health and the knowledge of Christ.
My heart has been scarified by watching several of my sisters lose their fathers; and fertilized as they each continue to live in their father's footsteps as strong, God-fearing, loving and devoted women to their sisters and families.
My heart was scarred by the experience of premature labor; but fertilized by God's grace to bless my life with a healthy God-fearing son.
My heart was scarred the day I was told that my daughter had a 10% chance of celebrating her 1st birthday; but fertilized by every single day with my angel for the last 3 years.
Over the years, my heart has been scarred by countless bad choices, bad influences and bad company; but greatly fertilized by God's grace to forgive me and blessings every time I turned back and asked for forgiveness.
No matter the circumstances; if you are firmly rooted in Christ, you will walk out of your experiences blessing others.
God wants for you to experience wholesome JOY. God wants you to know His promises for you! God will use every experience in your life to prepare the seedbed of your soul- the seedbed where His word takes root; the seedbed where harvest is abundant and is a blessing to others!