Parents: This week we're focusing on the good soil from the parable found in Matthew 13 and what this means in our lives.
Growing things in the garden has taught me many things about God, especially about what a good harvest looks like. We had tried growing several different kinds of plants last year, some successful and others not so much, but the most pleasant surprise were the eggplants.
We bought two plants as seedlings, meaning they were tender young plants at the store. We planted them into the best soil we could get and waited. Their leaves were soft like velvety rabbit ears, and they grew as big as your hand. Harvest time was supposed to start in June, and sure enough, we had some beautiful eggplants hanging off the branches. The two plants together gave us about three or four eggplants during June, which I figured wasn’t too bad. It was certainly better than our zucchini plants.
The eggplants stopped coming, but the plants themselves kept on growing. For a while, I continued to water them, but then we figured the harvest was over, so we left them alone to finish out their life cycle. However, they didn’t finish their life cycle. They seemed to struggle for a while, but the struggle only strengthened them. They kept on growing.
Little did we know that the eggplant harvest season stretches into November. As soon as the weather started cooling off, little flowers appeared again on the now huge eggplant “trees”. They were quickly pollinated and growing into fruit buds. In a matter of weeks, we watched with shock as the trees produced over twenty eggplants!
That alone teaches an important lesson about having faith and expecting a harvest, but the story doesn’t end there. There was no way we could fit all of those eggplants in our fridge, so we hoped to maybe cook some, freeze some and give some away.
By now, though, we were busy working at church, and we didn’t have any solid plan for the harvest, so we weren’t prepared to handle it. Nikki sliced, breaded and baked some of the produce, making a delicious pasta dish, but a large number still sat in our fridge. Time seemed to slip away from us as the days went by, and before we knew it, many of them had gone bad. We didn’t even share any of them.
It was kind of a tough lesson to learn, but it taught us something important. When you are expecting a harvest in faith, you have to be prepared for that harvest when it comes. Otherwise, you’re going to miss out on a great blessing.
The situation made me think of what Jesus taught in John 15:1-2, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch joined to me that does not bear fruit. He trims every branch that does bear fruit. Then it will bear even more fruit.”
In the parable of the different soils, the good soil produced “a crop 100, 60 or 30 times more than what was planted.” (Matthew 13:8) It should be the desire of every believer in Christ to have that kind of good soil in their hearts to receive God’s Word and produce spiritual fruit for Him. The Holy Spirit makes the fruit grow in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23), and our job is to believe, trust and obey Him.
Luke 8:4-15 | The Parable of the Farmer
CHAT WITH ME
1. The Scripture in Luke 8:15 talks about how the good soil is people who hold onto God's Word and "keep it in their hearts". What does it mean to keep God's Word in your heart?
2. Talk about the difficulties of being patient as we wait to see God's harvest.