Devotionals Archive

The Garden of My Heart

Aug 24, 2020

Behold, a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth. – Matthew 13:3-5

My wife and I bought a home with a large backyard, so I decided to put in a garden. This would be a small plot with only
a few items, so I bought a small tiller. The initial result was so good that it seemed logical to increase the size of my garden; there were so many
more things that I could grow!

Next to the original garden spot was an old shortcut dirt road where cars had once gone through the backyard. Rocks and gravel had been dumped there some
time in the past, but now it was smoothed over and grass grew there sparsely. It would not be as ideal as the original spot, but I thought that since
I had a tiller it was worth a try.

Much to my surprise, when my tiller came to this old road, it just climbed out onto the surface of the dirt and began chipping out divots of sod and throwing
them back at me! I went back and forth a few times with little success, but I was not ready to give up just yet. Making a quarter turn, I tried going
in a different direction. This helped a little as the previous cut marks now ran sideways and the tiller blades took new bites. Also, as the divots
of sod began to accumulate, it helped stabilize the tiller so it worked more effectively. It is a long story, but after hauling buckets of rocks away
and tilling that area from all four directions many times, it was finally ready for planting. And guess what? That part of the garden performed just
as well as the original plot!

A man once told me that he had no faith; he could not believe in God. I see my garden in his story. Somewhere in the past, something had hardened his heart
so that it was like the wayside hearer Jesus spoke of in the parable of the sower and the seed. When that happens, it takes a great deal of work to
make the heart once more receptive to the Word and the Spirit of God. However, it seems to me that there is hope for that one, just as there was hope
for my garden.

Do you, or someone you know, seem to struggle with believing God’s Word? Do you till the same “ground” over and over again? Sometimes we may need to haul
away things that have long lingered in our hearts, but if we do, eventually the Word will be able to take root. If we persist in preparing for it,
there will be a good harvest in the end.