For Joy… may you find some good soil with our good God this day.
He who has ears, let him hear.
I’ve been listening to this passage of scripture for several months now. An intentional haunt of sorts, both on my end and on God’s. A hearing so intense that I cannot shake its echo. Let me tell you what my heart has been hearing as I read.
Not the well-trampled soil, nor the rocky or the thorny soil, but rather, the good soil.
What qualifies one more than the other? What makes the earth beneath the sower’s seed more viable for the growth over the others? How do we define our lives accordingly … within the sacred ground of the good rather than in the contemptibleness of the others?
Why not the less desired? After all, our lives are mired in the well-trampled and the rocky. Why not some growth in the common place of our common walk rather than in the pasture lands of a lush and green that often seem too far out of reach and too far beyond reason? Why not in the thorny and in the loosened earth that cradles our weary feet?
Good questions. Ones that I have thought a great deal about in recent days. And here’s what I think as it pertains to the seeding of God’s Word into the good soil of our hearts over the seeding of it elsewhere.
Good soil is the preferred breeding ground for God’s best because good soil is the most receptive to its growth.
Good. Kalos in the Greek meaning “good, honorable, beautiful, sound. Good as to quality and character.”[i]
If God’s Word, which is the seed, is to stick and to know the bounty of a fruitful harvest, then it is worthy of an honorable and beautiful soil. A soil of sound and quality character that willingly and carefully guards the sacred planting with all intentions of seeing it come to full bloom.
Good soil is meant for Godly living, but good soil is not always an easy find.
Because to get to the good one has got to be willing to walk through the others. Good is hidden. Good is deep. Good is buried and is contrary to human nature. But make no mistake, good is there. It just takes getting through a few layers to unearth the soil that was meant to seed the good of God’s intention.
A difficult find most days because on most days, the well-trampled and rocky and thorny is the common pounding beneath our feet. Even today, many of you are walking the ills of such a path. Perhaps, you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the trampling over and upon your lives through the feet of others who claim territorial rights that were never theirs to claim. Perhaps the rocks are the pebbled annoyance that is, not only impeding your progress but is, also, wounding your feet with the jagged rough and cut of sharp intention. Maybe the thorn’s prick against the tender of your moment bleeds too deeply … too suffocating … too fully so as to cut the life out of your faith.
And while our God is more than willing to sow his Word into those moments of our lives, he understands that in those times of difficult pilgrimage, his seed is likely to fall prey to the demands of the immediate, rather than taking root toward the eternal.
Thus, he waits for our rest in the good soil. He commits his time and his energy to the lush and the fertile green and asks for us to pilgrim through the less in order to arrive at his best—the ideal location for a beautiful and honorable planting.
A hundred fold. A sixty fold. A thirty fold. A good output based on a good input by a good God who makes our hearts into a good soil for a good Word. This is the way of a good and gracious life that lives to the full and that pours to the overflow.
I don’t know about you, but I am more than ready and willing to pilgrim the well-trampled, through the rocky and between the thorns, to get to the lush and green of a sacred planting.
Good soil, friends. God’s best. He who has ears, let him hear. Thus, I pray…
Keep me listening to the truth of your Word, God. Plug my ears to the insistent pleas of my temporary and unplug them accordingly to receive the seeds of your truth. Let me not forsake the journey to the verdant for the choking of the urgent. I long to rest in the pasture of your deep and hidden because I long to know the sacred seeding of a divine kingdom. Thank you for the privilege of knowing you, Father. You are good. You are God. Amen.
[i] Entry for “kalos,” The NIV Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible (Chattanooga: AMG Publishing, 1996), 1637.