For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God. – Hebrews 6:7
This spring, it has rained a lot here in Central Illinois.
Though some farmers and gardeners have delayed planting, or have had to replant, we have been fortunate. We’ve had enough breaks between bouts of rain that most of our ground has stayed moist, rather than soggy.
Thanks to those ideal conditions, my perennials are looking more glorious than ever this year.
Check out these alliums, daisies, irises, and peonies growing in a happy tangle!
Today’s Scripture reminded me of the importance of a steady soaking of God’s Word into my heart.
Like the ground, the condition of my heart greatly depends upon how regularly I’m absorbing the rain of God’s Word.
Frequent Bible study keeps my heart soft and my mind open to whatever God wants to teach me. Daily time with him will lead to fresh growth, and abundant and beautiful fruit of the Spirit.
But if, for whatever reason, I don’t prioritize time with God, my heart starts to harden almost immediately. The blessings and trials he sends my way can’t help me grow as they should.
After that, it’s a bit scary how quickly my old nature rears its head, and weeds start to take root.
Even the disciples experienced a “hardening” of their hearts.
And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? – Mark 8:17
Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 men and their families; soon after, he fed 4,000 in an equally miraculous way. But the disciples still lacked faith, and they seemed to have a difficult time understanding the lesson Jesus was trying to teach them.
Their hearts remained hard, as Jesus said – like dry, compacted ground unable to absorb rain or yield fruit.
In the Greek, hardened means “dull, unperceptive as a rock, calloused, unresponsive.”
Sometimes, I’m just a bit glad the disciples could be so “dull,” despite the fact that they walked side-by-side with the Savior every day!
Eventually, they still became people who changed the world for God.
They give me hope that I can do the same – if I keep soaking up the Word and growing my relationship with God, every day.
Are you a gardener? How is the rain in your area? What helps your heart stay soft to the Spirit’s teaching? I welcome your comments.