Scripture reading: Matthew 13:1-23
I have always enjoyed reading this parable. It’s a story about a man who sows seed in the ground. Some of the seed falls along the path and gets snatched up from the birds. Some seed fell on rocky ground, immediately sprang up, and then was scorched by the sun. Some seed fell along thorns which choked them and prevented growth. Other seed fell on good soil and produced life. After telling the story, Jesus says ‘He who has ears, let him hear’. Could it be that in both this story and in every circumstance of life God is trying to say something to us?
One of the biggest learning curves in my life happened in the fall of 2016. It was then that I said yes to God’s call, left my job, and began pastoring City Church Middletown. My wife and I were excited for the opportunity and for the journey ahead. In my busyness, I dropped some of the life-giving rhythms that are so important – things like exercise and rest. I blinked and found myself in the worst Crohn’s flair-up of my life. I was hospitalized for 11 days, and out of commission for 3 months. All the while, my heart’s desire was to serve my God in the highest capacity! He spoke clearly to me in these circumstances – I must learn self-awareness if I am to finish the course He has prepared for me.
Just like the lesson I learned about my physical body, I also know that I must be aware of the condition of my heart. I must be honest about my walk with Christ. As I reflect on this parable, I find myself in the story. I want to be someone who knows the condition of their heart before God. If this is so, I must ask myself the hard questions. Things like, as God sows His Word into my heart, is it being planted but not taking root? Is God’s voice being choked out by the cares and circumstances of life? Or am I setting myself up to hear His Word and understand it?
Take a moment and pray this simple prayer with me.
Father, make my heart good ground that hears Your voice. Let Your Word go deep and grow! Grant me an awareness of all You’re doing in my life.