I've heard the parable of the seed and the sower many times over the years. I think early on in my life I took it as a challenge. I'm not proud of it, but I tend to be a pretty competitive person and it seemed to my young, foolish self that Jesus was grouping us into different categories. If that was the case, I figured I'd work real hard to be in the "good soil" category. I had determined who were the "path people", the "rocky terrain people", the "thorny people" and the "good soil people" and I knew where I wanted to land.
I not only was a competitive person, I was also pretty judgmental. What I have found after studying the Bible for 20 plus years is that becoming a "good soil" person is not the linear journey I imagined it to be. Seasons of my life have shown me that no matter how hard I study or how well I think I know the Word, my understanding of it and my ability to live out my faith have been cyclical. Just when I feel I'm going strong and walking in His purpose for me, a new challenge will pop into my life and make me question Him. Certain Scripture verses which I thought I understood clearly are suddenly confusing. I wonder if my faith ever really had any deep roots. And in particularly difficult periods of my life, the thorns and weeds have threatened to choke out a trust I thought was unwavering. I've been the bearer of every type of soil mentioned in the parable . . . many times over.
Gratefully, our God is not seasonal or cyclical. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And He is not content to leave us in a certain category. His Word is always available, always meaningful, and always meant to be the authority in our lives. I have found that when my soil feels rocky or thorny, I can be patient and trust that He will not leave me there. He means for all of us to be "those who hearing the Word, hold it in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience." We are not left as we are. We are to be made new.
Be patient. The sower is working. He will not give up on us.
Holy, gracious Lord. We thank You for Your never changing Word and for our ability to return to it, to learn from it, and to proclaim it's Good News to Your people. We ask You to cultivate in us honest and good hearts, so that we might bear fruit a hundredfold for You. Amen.
Written by Jennifer Skinner, member of Arcola Church and a Texan (Texas Longhorn to be specific!) living in beautiful Virginia with her very patient, funny husband, and three very impatient, funny boys/ball players. She is also a blogger, The View From Behind Home Plate, who writes about finding extraordinary grace and blessings among the cleats and dirt and testosterone that fill her ordinary days.