Posts Tagged ‘fallow ground’

It’s a process, this sowing and reaping thing. Generally, this pairing is used as a metaphor for the bad things that happen in our lives, but of course, good planting makes for good results. Unfortunately, the good seeds seem to grow a lot slower than all the rest.

Hosea 10:12
Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.

I’m not really much of a gardener so I’m sure I’ll play havoc with this metaphor but there are some pictures that come to mind. For instance, the last time I tried to prepare and plant a 10×10 foot vegetable garden in my back yard.

Soil preparation was a complete nightmare. We live in one of those developments and didn’t realize how much refuse is buried on a lot before or while they are building a house. I found huge globs of cement, parts of boards, rocks, and even empty cans in that small plot of land I was trying to plow up by hand. And of course, the soil was as hard as could be. We finally had to buy top soil to dig into the original dirt which was worthless (it’s a wonder that grass could grow).

Finally, I got the dirt to look somewhat welcoming to a small starter plant or seed. And this was probably the best part of the process, the actual sowing or planting. Little did I know that the next challenges would be equally daunting: deer from the woods could easily hop over our split rail fence, our dogs and cats liked the new fresh soil for digging and leaving personal gifts, the weeds were indistinguishable from the plants (to my untrained eye), and the Maryland weather offered no assistance whatsoever.

So, after all that, what did I reap? Two broccoli heads, scrawny tomatoes, wilted lettuce, holey peppers, and three carrots of diminutive size. Go ahead and laugh. It’s a willow tree now anyway.

I’m glad the Holy Spirit is a better gardener/farmer than me. Oh, I know, I still have to participate, but I think the overall procedure is in God’s hands if I release my control, my time table, and my expectations.

Just keep doing the “right” thing, as best I can. Again and again and again. Keep trusting. Keep forgiving. Keep asking for forgiveness.

In both Mark 4:8 and 4:20 in the parable of the sower, I am promised a 30-60-100 fold return, but there is no promise about when.

Sowing in the Spirit realm is a marathon, not a sprint.

I love the idea of “unfailing love.” In this phrase is hope and promise, persistence and progress. I am actually living in the midst of unfailing love right now, no matter what my circumstances might try to negate. I have planted with Christ. Now, I must stand and give thanks because those other roads I could have taken, back there in my past, would have destroyed my garden altogether, I’m sure.

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Matthew 13: 3-9
Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.”

Despite all that I have done this past year, two bible studies, regular devotions, bible reading, etc., I still come to the Lord today with a heart that feels fallow. I think so much of what I have learned and heard has washed away like water that cannot be absorbed in a hard pan of soil. We are known by our fruit… I know that. So, where is the fruit. (Reminds me of that old fast food commercial where the little old lady would look straight at the camera and say, “Where’s the beef?”) I feel the same way. Where’s the fruit?

Of course, I am also an impatient cuss! Perhaps the soil is not fallow… perhaps the seeds have been planted and are merely waiting for the right moment to sprout. Open my ears this day Lord that I might hear you. Water the garden of my heart.

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“Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, til He comes and rains righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12, NKJV

This is the first scripture that is used in the Seeking Him bible study that I will be leading over the next 13 weeks. I write it here because I want to remember these beginnings. It is time to break up old ways. It is time to put the sharp plow to the ground that is not bearing fruit. This is not an easy scripture because there is a moment where I must look with honesty at my heart… there are too many fallow areas there. I am busy and yet, I am not fertile. I have experienced barrenness in my life but I have forgotten what that looks like in the heart. I believe it is time to look again… to accept the plow of God’s Spirit.

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