Harvesting A Garden
In this month of November, we take time to share a meal, and to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. This is what Thanksgiving is all about. Maybe we don’t appreciate this time for what it is really about because we do not grow a garden, or we do not know what it takes for our farmers to grow and harvest theirs and the work it takes to not only harvest, but to get it to market. But Thanksgiving is only once a year, and so is planting seed in most areas, but what about spiritual seed.? What about reaping a spiritual harvest? Let’s take a closer look at this.
Yeshua gives us a parable in Matthew 13:3-9, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
What we see is that you have to make the effort of planting the seed. Now I know from my own gardening experience that first you have to prepare the soil. Your crop is only going to be as good as your soil. It’s like anything in life, you have to prepare. So the first step to planting is breaking up the ground. After the long winter, the ground is hard and there could be stones that lay under the ground that need to be removed. You also have to pick a spot where your garden will get plenty of sunshine and water. It takes time and effort to prepare for a bountiful harvest. Then the next step is when the seed starts to sprout, you have to not only keep watering , but at times you have to also prune and pull weeds. It takes a caring gardener to attend to the needs of the garden.
We see God speaking about such things in a spiritual nature.
Jeremiah 4:3 gives us our first step.
“This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem: “Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns.”
God spoke this to Isaiah in Isaiah 57:14,
Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.” For this is what the high and exalted One says— He who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.
And in Hosea 10:12 it says,
“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap faithful love; break up your unplanted ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you.”
Our parable about the sower also has a spiritual meaning. Yeshua goes on to explain His parable in Matthew 13:19-23,
“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one sown with seed beside the road. The one sown with seed on the rocky places, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution occurs because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one sown with seed among the thorns, this is the one who hears the word, and the anxiety of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. But the one sown with seed on the good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces, some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty times as much.”
So what is the moral of the story? If you are going to plant spiritual seed, then you become the gardener. You have to decide where you are sowing your seed. Some people may not be ready to hear what you have to say, and it will all go by the wayside. You may have to prepare a person by slowly preparing their heart. Then you may have to deal with removing some obstacles, and then the person may be ready to receive your seed. Once you plant that seed, you can’t just stop there, you must water it, and keep watch over it until that seed germinates and takes root. If we see a newly planted garden, that does not have a gardener watching over it, then we must help the seed to grow. Be a gardener friend, who can water and fertilize that seed. Be a garden caregiver. If you are the one to see that seed comes to harvest, you will be blessed by being able to see the rewards of your hard work. This is the time to give Thanks for not only your blessings, but being able to cause someone else to be blessed by your work.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9.