What Type of Soil Do You Have?
By Kim Cimuchowski
Do you like gardening? I do, in fact I find a significant amount of satisfaction watching something grow. Though I really enjoy this, I’m not an accomplished gardener. Very few people would say I have a green thumb.
In Lord’s Lab this week, we talked about gardening and planting seeds. We looked at the parable found in Luke 8:4-15 that talks about the four different soils. This is how it reads:
While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’ “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
I’ve always looked at this parable as if you could only have one type of soil. But in reality, I know that I have many types of soil in my heart. I of course, would love to be able to say that my heart is all good soil. But, I know that there are places in my heart where I do have rocks. Places that I don’t allow God’s word to go deep. Places that I hold back from allowing God to take control.
I also know that I also have thorny or weedy places in my heart. Places that I allow worry and desires to consume me rather than releasing them to the Father.
This parable is a wonderful place to begin an evaluation of your own heart. Are you like the hardened path that doesn’t even allow God’s word in? Probably not or you wouldn’t be reading this. But you may be a little bit like me and have some weeding and rock pulling to do. In the end, we all should desire to have a rich, fruitful soil that will produce large amounts of fruit.
The children really enjoyed the activity of planting that we did after the lesson. We planted some Marigolds in a pot and grew some beans in a plastic bag in the window; and talked about what is necessary for plants to grow: soil, water, and sunshine. Additionally we discussed how caring for a plant takes constant work and doesn’t happen overnight. We then related these things to our hearts. We won’t necessarily see growth overnight. To truly care for our hearts, we have to keep coming back and weeding, because new “weeds” take root all the time. We need to feed our “soil” with “healthy fertilizer” like God’s word, fellowship and prayer.
It takes a lot of work, but in the end we will see a healthy beautiful plant grow that will produce 100 fold.