I love flowers!  Who doesn’t?  Flowers have always been a part of my life.  My mom consistently had fresh cut flowers inside, as well as beautiful gardens outside.  As children, my sister and I regularly wore fresh daisies in our hair to school.  To this day, my mom still loves to work in her garden of flowers.  Her house is easy to spot in the neighborhood … it is the house adorned with the brightest blooms and the most colorful flowers.

My mom definitely has a green thumb and flowers thrive in her yard because of the way she has taken care of the soil where the seeds are planted.  She painstakingly has the best dirt – clean and healthy.  Good dirt allows her seeds to thrive.

Jesus had something to say about dirt and planting, but it wasn’t just a lesson for farmers, it is quite practical for us today.  The Parable of the Sower of the Seed is found in three of the four Gospels:  Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20 and Luke 8:4-15.

To recap, there was a farmer that sowed seeds – there were four different types of ground the seed feel upon.  The first area was a footpath and did not penetrate, the second type of ground was shallow and full of rocks, the third type of soil was full of thorns and thistles, and therefore choked out any new growth. Finally, the fourth ground was fertile and produced a hearty crop.

The interesting point is that three of the four types of ground did not offer a place for the “seed” to thrive.  Only the fourth ground welcomed the seed because it was free of the other distractions and objects that prevented the seed from penetrating.

So it is with our hearts.  Each person can be categorized as one of these types of soils in the parable.  How is your ground?  Do we hear the “Word” … the seed … and immediately forget about it, or do we hear God’s word, think about it, but never allow it to permeate due to other distractions?  Do we allow the Word of God to stay surface level only and never root? 

May we all aim for a ground that will produce a hearty, fruitful, abundant crop.  Make room for the Word by clearing the rocks and thorns.  The rocks can be seen as old wounds, hard places of unforgiveness, unresolved issues and the like. Thorns can be the pricks of mainstream media and the chatter of the world that doesn’t produce life.  

The interesting element of the lush crop is that it was not about what was added to the garden as much as it was about what was taken out of the garden to produce a harvest.  Our hope to produce fertile hearts hungry for God.  When we plant His Word in our hearts, we produce a fruitful life.

Next time you see a beautiful piece of fruit or a brilliant flower, think about the rich soil that provided a place for it to grow to its potential.

As Audrey Hepburn has said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”.  Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Rhonda Smart, [email protected]

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