Will the Gardner spend his energy on soil that is not fertile? It is a question that has been rolling through my mind for the past six months.
In Matthew 13 there are three out of the five parables that are very similar that we usually see as separate. The first is the parable of the sower which is about a farmer who scatters seed and it falls on different types of ground. If you have read it you know the story. Some take root very shortly, some not at all, but only there is only one under which the conditions are good enough for the seed to bear fruit. The fertile soil! I have heard these verses used for us as believers to “scatter the seed of the word” everywhere. But what if we are not the sower of the seeds. What if in this parable the message Jesus wants to get across is about the condition of our heart. In the parable of the weeds (the second parable) Jesus explains that the sower of the seeds is “The Son of Man”. Is it possible that these two are meant to be seen as stories that Jesus is weaving together? And the third one is about the mustard seed. What if all three of these are meant to be woven together to understand the depth of what Jesus is talking about? In John 15 Jesus also uses the analogy of the vine and branches. When we stay connected to the vine then we as the branches will bear fruit. When we tie all this together what we have is a Gardner (Jesus), the soil (our hearts), the world (weeds, rocks, etc) and our lives (the branches) which are meant to bear fruit.
This all brings me back to the question? Will Jesus – The Gardner – spent his energy on soil that is not fertile?
I believe He wants to break up those hard pieces of our heart. The question is… Are we willing to let him hold our hearts? Are we willing to surrender everything to Him?
Here is a journal entry from about 6 months ago…
– I must learn to rest in His Love. I must allow him to break open my heart and break down all the hard pieces and places until it is soft, rich, and fertile soil. Then he can put it back together. That might be, no it is, painful. I thought to myself, “If I could hear him his voice once a week it would be wonderful. I wouldn’t want to stop there though. Once a day would be even better.” Then maybe my heart would remain softly in His strong, but gentle hands. Maybe then I wouldn’t be as reluctant to let him hold it. It wouldn’t hurt as bad when he needs to break it loose. –
This is only one piece to the whole story. Trees and branches that bear fruit do not grow over night. There is a process involved and it takes time. There are seasons of pruning and dry spells and bearing fruit. They don’t just happen once either. Pruning is a regular occurrence, but bearing fruit is also a regular occurrence. Dry spells come and go and often catch us by surprise. Some of these moments are extremely painful, others are full of joy and life.
I plan on writing more about this in three more parts:
1. Establishing Fertile Soil: The Benefit of Anguish
2. Growing and Pruning: Don’t Neglect the Process
3. Dry Spells: Roots that go Deep
I will end with this. How fertile is the soil of your heart? Are you willing to ask your heavenly Father that question? When you are ready to ask you might be surprised by His answer.