Recently in my quiet time, I was again drawn to Mark chapter 4. I love the Parable of the Sower. There are so many principles and applications on so many levels. The farmer scatters the seed on the path, the rocky place, among weeds and then—good soil (vv1-20, please read those beautiful words in red). Praying as I read through these verses over and over (in different translations) I felt Holy Spirit point.
He was pointing at the rocky place.
If the good soil is the place that contains a healthy environment to grow the best and abundant yielded harvest, then “good soil” is the goal. Good soil, the soil of my heart for Jesus.
So, what about the rocky place?
In my research I found some amazing things. The rocks found in fields are known as fieldstones (I know, “Duh” but that’s their technical name) and lie at or near the surface of the ground. They are regarded as a huge nuisance to the farmer. Great labor is taken to remove it. Interestingly, in the early days (prior to modern fencing) those annoying stones were then picked up and stacked not only as fencing—but boundary lines. What once littered the field, hindering the farmer to full harvest, now stands as a clearly marked boundary line.
As I pondered this I had to smile, and quietly whisper “Those stupid rocks.” Just when I think my field is good to go, I trip over yet another rock and face plant right there in the middle of the field. Instead of getting up and just kicking it aside, I know now, if I truly—genuinely desire a good healthy field (besides a good tilling and weed pulling) I need to pick up those growth hindering rocks.
I appreciate God’s practicality. He didn’t just say, “Move’m.” He told me what to do with them. It’s not only hard work, but heart-work! Not to mention (but I will) may we not be super meticulous about how we stack those rocks (I know a few will stress over that) just get them out of the field and on the heap. Those stones representing anything that hinders my receiving God’s word, His instruction, HIS standard for my life. Some of those stones will post as a declaration of what once tripped me up, now stands as boundary line of awareness, “THAT is no longer allowed in my field.” Rock built, boundary line.
Boundary lines are not to contain us, they are to protect and prevent what comes in. The psalmist wrote, “I walk about in freedom, for I have sought out Your precepts” (Ps 119:45). There is freedom in knowing God and His word. And knowing and preventing what hinders us.
God is worthy of our clean-up project. Will you join me in cleaning up our field, picking up and stacking rocks! We will be amazed what God can do with those empty, prior stone filled places. Good soil.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds” Hebrews 10:24).