Gardening 101

By Lay Hsuan

“Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” — Matthew 13:8 (NIV)

We may be familiar with the verse about the seed that falls on good soil. Unfortunately, we often forget that good soil does not stay good on its own. Hard work, perseverance and great care are needed to keep the soil in excellent condition so that healthy crop can continue to multiply. If we take the good soil for granted and neglect maintaining it, it eventually hardens, and clogged water may later drown the plant.

Any gardener will tell you that for the soil to stay healthy, it needs to be tilled from time to time with garden tools such as hand fork, hand trowel and/or rototiller. This will help loosen up the soil to allow roots to penetrate the soil easily for air, moisture and nutrients. This results in a stronger root system for the plant, promoting sustainable growth that leads to fruitfulness.

Jesus likens the condition of our heart to that of the soil (Matthew 13:19). Our heart needs constant plowing by the Great Gardener, lest it hardens with our own self-will and stubbornness. The plowing process is an uncomfortable and painful experience, but it is necessary for our heart to remain soft. Only with a soft and tender heart can we be easily filled with the refreshing breath of His Spirit, His flowing water of life, and the vital nutrients from His Word.

Thanks to the Great Gardener who diligently works in us, our heart can stay soft and we can grow deeper in Him and become more Christlike and fruitful for His kingdom.

May we submit our hearts to His tilling. Amen.

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