When faced with challenging circumstances, many Christians cry out to God, “God, why are you doing this to me?” Or, “God, why don’t you answer my prayer?” But let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say to shed some light on matters such as these.
In Mark 4:13-20 Jesus teaches us about the Sower and the seed. I hope you’ll go read that passage because it is rich with revelation and truth. When you study the teaching, you’ll note that the Sower sows the word and as He casts it, the seeds fall on four types of ground.
The ground represents the heart of the hearer and its receptivity to the seed. First mentioned is the hard wayside . . . or a hard heart . . . and the seed doesn’t even make an impression.
The second is the stony ground. When the seed falls there, the soil is so shallow that the seed may sit for a short time, but it can’t get rooted into the soil. So it has no effect.
The third soil is covered with thorns. The seed lands on the soil, but the new shoots from the seed are in competition with the thorns (the cares of the world) that soon take over . . . so the word gets choked out.
And then there is the fourth type of soil – the good ground. It is the heart that is open to receive the seed. It has been plowed and is soft so the seed can take root and grow well. The roots of the seed can go deep into the prepared soil and the harvest will come . . . and even then there are grades of good ground with some producing thirtyfold, some sixty and some a hundred.
So here is the question we need to ask ourselves when we consider our situations and challenges. Did the Sower change the type of seed He tossed? Or was it the same seed, but on different soil? Are some people more blessed because God treats them differently? Or is it because their hearts are better prepared, more receptive and more open to what God’s Word says?
Jesus teaches that this is the most important parable of all. He says, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?”
For me, this teaching from the Master of the church is central to my faith development and my life. What kind of soil is most like my heart today? Do I need to do some hoeing to break up hard ground? Do I need to toss out some stones that keep the seed from penetrating the soil? Are there weeds that need to be uprooted and tossed away so the seedlings can take root and prosper with a good harvest.
Lord, is it You? No . . . You sow the same incorruptible seed. So that means, it’s me. It’s me that needs to change and grow and till the ground of my heart so I am more receptive to Your Word. Then I can grow and Your Word in my heart will result in an abundant harvest!