“How did you learn how to plant your crops?” Caleb asked his grandfather, as they walked through the corn field. Caleb was spending a few weeks with his grandparents during his summer vacation.
His grandfather turned to Caleb and responded, “I watched my dad when I was your age. Then, when I became a little older, I knew that I wanted to be a farmer just like him when I grew up.”
Harvey and Caleb kept walking through the corn field. The stalks were high and green. Several ears of corn hung from each stalk and Caleb touched the kernels on one protruding ear. “It must take a lot of time to plant these,” he mentioned.
“It does take time,” Harvey told the boy. “But it is well worth the effort. We have corn to eat, corn for feeding the animals, and corn to plant again. When we think about farming, we have to know how much we will need for the following year. It is a process that has been planned for every farmer.” Harvey continued. “Caleb, did you know that Jesus taught about farming?”
“No,” Caleb answered. “Was Jesus a farmer?”
“Jesus was a carpenter. His earthly father taught him how to build. But, when he became a man, He wanted people to understand His Kingdom. He would use stories to illustrate what His Kingdom was like. He would say, ‘The Kingdom of God is like…’ and then He would begin to explain the story to his disciples. One of His stories was about farming. He would tell how the farmer (he called a sower) would sow good seed into different types of soil."
“Aren’t all soils alike?” Caleb asked.
“According to Jesus, there were four types of soil,” Harvey pointed out as he began to explain. “Jesus said that there was a hard soil where people walked. The seed would fall on the soil and because there soil was hard, the seed could not grow. So, the birds would eat the seeds.”
Caleb sat very still as his grandfather continued. “The next type of soil was full of rocks and it wouldn't let the seed grow. Just as the seed would find a place to grow, the rocks would block the place for the roots and the plant would die.”
“I’ve had to dig some rocks out of grandma’s garden, haven’t I, grandpa?” Caleb asked.
“You sure have.” Harvey told him. “Grandma didn’t want anything to stop her tomato plants. There is another type of soil Jesus mentioned. It is the soil that is full of weeds. The weeds will choke out the life of the plant and it will wither and die.”
“So is that all that Jesus said about farming?” Caleb asked his grandfather.
“Well,” Harvey continued, “The soils are like our hearts. The first soil represents the road that people travel and their opinions. When we hear a lot of people’s opinions, our hearts may become hardened to God’s Word and the good seed will not find a place to grow. Distractions, like birds, will steal it away from us. The second soil, which has rocks, is like having bitterness or resentment in our hearts. We may listen and accept the Word of God but because we have anger or bitterness, we don’t allow the seed to grow to maturity. The third soil of weeds is like the cares of this life. When we have so many things that cause us frustration or worry, we can’t put our trust in all that God wants to do in us.”
“I want to be good soil.”
“That’s it, Caleb!” Harvey exclaimed. “To be good soil, we must let God work on our hearts. He has to dig up the hard places so that we will trust Him and His word. Then he removes the rocks of bitterness with His love and peace.”
“Some people need those big machines to move their rocks around, don’t they, grandpa?”
“They sure do!” Harvey said as he smiled at his grandson. “And, God de-weeds us. He doesn’t want us to worry about anything. When we do, we are allowing the weeds to grow up and choke out the seed.”
“How can I be good soil, grandpa?”
“Whenever you feel like you are becoming any one of these soils, you must stop right there and ask your Heavenly Father to work on your heart, your soil. He will do it, because He is the Ultimate Farmer."
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