Grow and Flourish
But other fell into good ground. – Matthew 13:8
My dad had a green thumb. He could raise a garden and always have plenty of vegetables to share with all the neighbors. One year, though, there was
a disappointing crop. The previous fall, at his request, the City had brought in several large truckloads of leaves from the streets of our city
and dumped them on Dad’s garden. To my young mind, it seemed like mountains of them! Using his faithful Merry-Tiller, he had mixed the leaves into
the soil and waited for spring to arrive, when he could again till the ground and plant his garden.
When the garden produced poorly, Dad was not to be defeated. He decided to figure out what had happened, so he went to the County Extension Office
and found out that all those leaves, while adding mulch, had also added a lot of acid; in fact, too much to have a good garden. I remember that
day in the fall when Dad came home with sacks of Ammonium Sulfate and, with his faithful Merry-Tiller, began to mix the Ammonium Sulfate into the
soil. The next year, we had the best garden you could ever wish for and also a very happy Dad!
Jesus’ parable of the Sower and the Seed tells us that our lives are like soil. As it is in a garden, the seed of God’s Word must have the right conditions
to grow. Sometimes that means adding, sometimes it is taking away, but there must be the right balance of influence in our lives, much like the
elements of soils. If something is not right in our hearts, the Word will not take root and we will not see the growth and results we desire. That
means we must be careful that we do not allow elements of the world to contaminate the soil of our hearts, but rather incorporate elements that
we know will bring God’s blessing.
As we provide God with the right soil, His Word will grow and flourish in our lives, and we will be fruitful in the Gospel.