Kay Reminger, Leader Columnist
I’ve been blessed that my lifetime was spent caring for animals and working the land the good Lord entrusted to us. The Word of God has many similarities with farming, with many references to planting the seed, tending it and watching it grow.
One day I was working out with my Jennifer, participating in her low-impact aerobicexercise program called “Rise-Up.” (8 a.m., Direct TV, NRB Channel 378) As usual, she refers to many scriptural passages as she encourages her participants to keep on keeping on. This morning her timely chatter caught my interest as I was prayerfully considering what I should write about for Easter. The Lord has a way of putting things in our path at exactly the right time and at the right place. Our job is to shut up and listen, and then act.
As we pumped weights, Jennifer said: “I like to think about how we plants seeds. It takes time for them to grow, and whatever is in that seed is what it’s going to produce, basically. You put that seed in the ground and water it and tend it and then watch that harvest come. When we plant the Word of God in our hearts and we get strength from the Word as we plant it in our hearts, it’s going to produce a good harvest of faith. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. The more we plant the Word of God in our heart, we hear it, and then speak it and watch how it grows in our lives and then impacts greater and greater areas of our lives.”
(Jennifer has a way of keeping up a steady stream of conversation that teaches and at the same time, takes your mind off how many repetitions she’s putting you through.)
When we plant a kernel of corn we anticipate, after a time of sun and rain, to sprout a tiny green soldier of corn. When we plant soybeans, presently we expect a unique sea of green to be waving. The same goes with hayseed. My point is, whatever it is we plant, we will harvest.
If we plant doubt, fear, unforgiveness, jealously, anger and mistrust; that is what we will reap. If we plant the fruits of the spirit such as love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), we will reap that.
The passages where Jesus taught, using parables as He so readily did, in regard to the seed landing on different types of soil sits well within my farmer heart. In Matthew 13:18-23 in my Message Bible, it says: “Study this story of the farmer planting seed. When anyone hears news of the kingdom and doesn’t take it in, it just remains on the surface and so the evil one comes along and plucks it right out of that person’s heart. This is the seed the farmer scatters on the road. The seed cast in the gravel, this is the person who hears and instantly responds with enthusiasm. But there is no soil of character and so when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it. The seed cast in the weeds is the person who hears the kingdom news, but weeds of worry and illusions about getting more and wanting everything under the sun strangle what was heard and nothing comes of it. The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News and then produces a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.”
I’m amazed at all the references to farming the land that are in the Bible. The Easter resurrection brings New Life. The One that has died to Self has risen and lives. And to all who accept the free gift of salvation by this sacrificial Lamb, they will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Accept this Good News and we will celebrate Easter together in heaven one day. Let’s live each day the best we can, plant seeds on good ground and together we will reap a good harvest!
(“The angel spoke to the women: ‘There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as He said. Come and look at the place where He was placed.’” Matthew 28:5-6, The Message Bible)
P.S. Last time I wrote about Strawberry, the red-haired heifer. Because of all the comments concerning Strawberry, I’d like you to know she eventually became a momma and went on to become a contributing member of our neighbor’s herd. Amazing, isn’t it.