In Good Soil

The hill was steep.  Very steep.  Completely washed out by years of rain, it looked nearly impassable.  But that didn’t stop Dad from gunning his truck –with trailer in tow– up the nearly vertical slope.  We were all grasping for handles and footholds in the truck as it careened to the top, the trailer screeching and banging behind us.  Several times a summer it’s time to load the trailer up with hay for the horses, and yesterday was the first of the year.  It is actually one of my favorite jobs we have to do — the fields are yellow and green, the sky is a brilliant blue, and from the endless stretch of pasture you can see the bay glimmering in the sun miles away.  It can be hard work, but as we ride up the field on a stack of bales with the breeze in our faces and the sun on our backs, there is nothing more wonderful in the world.

After finishing the load, we drove a little ways up the road to some property my Grandpa owns, since he wanted to take a look at it.  The land is nothing but a stretch of waving, waist high timothy hay — golden and green.  As I lay in the grass looking up at the sky, with the wind whipping through, I could have spent the rest of my life there.  I never wanted to leave.  For really, no matter how fun the town is, and the bustle of a social life, my heart lies out in the fields and meadows where all is silent, and all is peace.

“A sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.  Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched.  And since they had no root, they withered away.  Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.  Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  He who has ears, let him hear.”  (Matt. 13:3-9)

The seeds God sows are all the same — they are the seeds of God’s Word.  It was not the seeds’ fault that they did not grow, but the soil in which they fell.  To blame the seed for it’s inability to bear fruit, when the soil was unhealthy and unprepared, would be a false accusation.  There are four kinds of soil illustrated here by Jesus:

First, the soil by the path.  This ground was beaten by many feet, and was untilled and unyielding.  It would not, and could not any longer, accept the seeds because it was hardened.  Because it did not allow the seeds to grow, they were snatched away by the birds — the Enemy.  When someone hears the word and continues in her way, without heeding it, the Enemy will destroy what was sown in her heart.  God may continue to call to her, but if the soil of her heart refuses to accept his planting, nothing will grow.

Second, the soil filled with rocks.  I know about rocks.  Our land is veritable rock farm.  We can grow rocks!  The problem with rocky land is that the plants must push their roots around the stones in order to be stable.  When the soil is very rocky, the plants cannot gain a deep root system, annd when the sun comes out, they have no reservoir to reach within the ground. They are shallow, and consequently, they die. 

Third, the soil shared with thorns.  If you read over the parable again, you will notice that when the good seed was sown, there were already thorns growing as well.  When the good seed took root, the thorns should have been removed.  For those who love the world too much to remove the evidences of it in their life, these “thorns” will choke out their trust in God.  They will never be fruitful.

Lastly, the good soil; this is the one who hears the word and understands it (Matt. 13:23).   This soil was prepared to accept the seed of God’s Word.  It had been fertilized, tilled, and tended.  It was receptive to the work of God, and because it was ready to be planted, the seeds were free to grow.  Those whose hearts are willing in this way will “bear fruit and yield, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, in another thirty.” 

Our hearts need to be that good soil always, not only when we first hear the gospel message.  The journey with God calls for a continual willingness to receive His word, His way and His teaching.  We may not always want to accept it, but we must keep in mind that the seed He is planting will grow into something He has envisioned for us — no matter how small the seed may seem. 

“…You may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Is. 61:3)


3 Responses

  1. I just read this parable before I saw your post! Wow! You’re description of the fields is very beautiful. I especially like this verse: “…You may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Is. 61:3).

    My only question is this, who made the good soil good? Was it the soil, or did the farmer have something to do with it? 🙂

    Thanks. Great post!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. A very good reminder to always have a humble and willing heart for God to plant His seeds so we might follow His will all of our lives. I pray that He would continue to do so in my heart and make me good soil.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. It was nice to meet you. Thank you for the compliments about my site. I welcome you back!

    Yes we have some connections to TOS… Auntie Gena and Uncle Paul are pretty awesome. If I get my hands on the book, I’ll look for your name. 🙂

    Miss Jocelyn

  3. Thanks for stopping by. Nice blog.

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