As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bore-ing Things

I have had my week of being still, sort of. This week has been back to the busier side, but we've adapted well. With Fred's help, I've been having morning quiet time. He is ready to go out about 6:00 or 6:30 each morning, and since I'm the only one home at that time of the morning who will get up with him, I'm up between 6:00 and 6:30, too. We sit on the deck in our backyard, and he does his Fred thing, and I pray and read my Bible. It's a good way to start the day.

While we are outside, we also water the various flowerbeds and our vegetable garden. This morning our vegetable garden need some special attention. Last week we lost one of our pumpkin vines. I've never raised pumpkins before, so I had no idea what this looked like, maybe just a one time thing. It was obvious this morning that whatever killed the other vine was not a one time thing because a second vine had the same symptoms. So I did some internet research and found out we have pumpkin borers. There are two ways to get them out. We can cut a slit open and find the little bug, or we can cut a slit and inject an organic mixture. Then we cover the hole with dirt and pray it kills the bug before the bug kills the plant.

When I talked to Nancy at The Natural Gardener in Austin, she said there is no way to prevent the little critters, but it takes a daily check of the vines to see if there is any sign of holes or boring. Talk about perseverance! Good thing Fred and I are up early, I guess.

It made me think of the parable of the seeds actually. Luke 8 presents the story this way:

11"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Verse 15 is the key. There are steps to producing a crop. Sadly, some of us want the no-maintenance crops. I've been one of those people. Basically, we want to hear sermons, attend Bible studies, read the right books, and regurgitate well and by osmosis, produce a wondrous crop. It doesn't work that way. According to Jesus, we have to hear the word. Then we have to retain it. The Greek word used here actually means "to fight for". The enemy will steal our seed if we don't fight over it, just like those little squash borers will kill my vines if I don't kill them first. Then we have to perservere. This is a fantastic word, too fantastic to explain here, but check out my post on what the whole passage means. I have to be diligent in making sure that the seed is growing and nothing is eating away at it. Just like I need to check that squash vine everyday, I need to go before the Lord everyday and ask if there is anything boring into my spirit that could kill my seed.

I'll be honest and tell you I don't enjoy the high maintenance garden experience, BUT I love the fruit. I don't always like having to deal with what bores into my heart and spirit, but I really do like becoming like Jesus. Don't you?

Praying your seed produces great things!

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