1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
2 And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
I love the vivid imagery our Savior painted with as He used parables to teach the gospel! The parable of the sower is one of my favorites! As I look back in my life I can see how my heart has taken on each of the conditions Jesus mentioned in this parable. There have been times when I was angry and bitter and even though the Spirit tried to teach me the word was gobbled up before it had a chance to sink in. There are times with I was too overwhelmed with the busyness of life and my pursuits of a worldly nature when the thorns crowded in and consumed my heart leaving no opportunity for spiritual thriving. There have been those times when my heart has been more stony and I have heard truths and felt excited about them in the meeting where they were being taught only to go home and give no more thought to nurture them. And then there have been times, my favorite times, even though sometimes they were my hardest times, when I have sat down regularly to spend time with the Master Gardener on a very regular basis. And as we had these cultivating session He broke up the soil of my heart. He taught me about thorny weeds I needed to remove and rocks I needed to toss out. He showed me how to fertilize my soil. And in that time together I have felt the most beautiful garden spring up in my soul. I have felt peace and joy in a way that was not reasonable or explainable with the other difficulties that were happening in my life. I felt loved. I felt nurtured. I felt strengthened. But getting to that point was not easy. It required a willingness to be broken up. It required a willingness to make a painful exploration of who I was and who I wanted to be. Sometimes self-examination is not easy. Honestly, most of the time if we are doing it correctly it is not. But it is ALWAYS worth it because our Lord can show us the areas in our lives where we are hurting the most and why. And most importantly He can help us to change it so that it can become pleasing rather than painful!
Today’s talk goes into detail about the different types of soil and is very helpful in helping to determine where our own heart is and where it could use a little nourishment.
Soul Searching Question: What condition is the soil of your heart? What are you doing to break it up and nurture it to improve it? What specific things are you doing to keep your heart soft and receptive?