I’ve set aside today to sit at my computer and write chapter four of the book I’m working on called the “Good Soil”. The book takes both poetic and prophetic license as it digs deep into the parables and other teachings of Jesus searching for the mystery and miracle of natural spiritual growth. It draws a parallel between the miracle of our lives and what happens to a seed when it is placed into “the good soil” – as it germinates and matures until it reproduces and thus produces a great harvest.
The chapter I am working on today focuses on that season of time when the seed is planted and is destined to sit deep in the confines of composted, organic soil experiencing a work that is unobservable to the eye. Just before I started pecking away at my computer keys I decided to check on the vegetable garden we recently planted and noticed that the first peas had sprouted. It was the first sign of life in our garden so far this spring which inspired some of my opening thoughts concerning the germination process:
During this time of waiting the seed is hidden, visible only to God. It is during this time that the hard protective outer shell of the seed is softened so that its first fragile root can break out and tap into the rich nourishment of the earth. This mysterious work is done out of the sight and the control of man and the work that takes place is miraculous. It is a fragile part of the growth process and must be completed before the immature plant can break forth from its place of confinement, spread its first branches and finally be observed and recognized as a new and unique creation
If the parable is consistent, then the truth of this process must also take place in us. If we, like the seed, are to grow fully into a new creation then we also must undergo God’s essential and miraculous work that often is done in hiding in unexpected and even uncomfortable seasons of life. For most this is a confusing time, a time when we question if God even knows us or cares about what we are going through. Sometimes it’s a dark time of trials, a lonely place where we feel trapped and without human options; yet it is the very place God seems to do his best work in us. It’s here that we finally give up and choose to surrender to his will, allowing him to soften the hard outer shell of our hearts so that our roots might break through and sink deep into the depths of his love, his provision, and his faithfulness. It is only then that we gain nourishment, become strengthened and break forth from our season of dormancy and confinement. It is then that we are able to raise outstretched arms in new a posture of worship, lifting our hands upward to the penetrating warmth and the full light of the Son.