He [Jesus] said many things to them in parables: “A farmer went out to scatter seed. As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path, and birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on rocky ground where the soil was shallow. They sprouted immediately because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it scorched the plants, and they dried up because they had no roots. Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorny plants grew and choked them. Other seed fell on good soil and bore fruit, in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of thirty to one. Everyone who has ears should pay attention.” (Matthew 13:3-9, CEB)
It is possible to think of this parable as each person has a different soil. But what if we think that each of us has some of each in our spiritual garden? Then we could not write off this parable so quickly. Then we would have to ask God to show us which parts of our soul is full of weeds. Then we would be pointed out to the way of eternal life.
“Study this story of the farmer planting seed. When anyone hears news of the kingdom and doesn’t take it in, it just remains on the surface, and so the Evil One comes along and plucks it right out of that person’s heart. This is the seed the farmer scatters on the road.
“The seed cast in the gravel—this is the person who hears and instantly responds with enthusiasm. But there is no soil of character, and so when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it. (Matthew 13:18-21, MSG)
Just as gardening is not only about relaxing in sunshine we need to prepare our spiritual gardens for life storms, too. Faith can’t develop without discipleship and spending time with God. Faith is not some added experience now and then; faith needs to become part of our everyday lives.
“The seed cast in the weeds is the person who hears the kingdom news, but weeds of worry and illusions about getting more and wanting everything under the sun strangle what was heard, and nothing comes of it.
“The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.” (Matthew 13:22-23, MSG, emphasis added)
Only when the soil of our hearts is good, we can stand the test of time. Many Christians start well but when they forget the weeding the results are disastrous. Feelings are important but they are not reliable in faith matters. If we draw conclusions based on our feelings, our faith will wither. We need to draw conclusions based on the Bible, because God’s word will last forever.
Our spiritual gardens will bloom beautifully when we live out our faith in the middle of our messy lives. When we tend our gardens daily, we will remember to lift our gaze from our problems to God. The help we receive (not the hardships that we endure) will cultivate our soul gardens. Slowly we learn to base our lives on the word of God, not on our feelings.
If you keep praying and tending your spiritual garden, the Master Gardener, Jesus, will work alongside you. With his guiding, helping, and coaxing your garden will bloom and bear fruit beyond your wildest dreams.
We want to have good soil in our souls,
show us how to tend to our spiritual gardens.
Thank you for the Master Gardener!
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How do you tend to your spiritual garden?
Image courtesy of Tim Pirfält, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty & Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday and counting blessings: #1004 The Master Gardener will come alongside us and help us as we work in our soul gardens.