Preparing to grow

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Readings for July 12, 2020

Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 65:1-14
Romans 8:18-23
Matthew 13:1-23

www.usccb.org/bible/readings/

Within any seed is everything it needs for life. It’s growth, however, is dependent on its surroundings, needing the right dirt to bear good fruit. And if  the seed is the Word of God, then I must do everything I can to settle and prepare my heart, to be the good dirt, so that the Word may grow within me.  However, like most things in life, it never seems to be quite that simple. I have found that at any given time in my life, perhaps even at various times during my day or week, the quality of soil I have to offer God’s Word will be different, and I find that I can be any part of the ground where the seed may land.

I am the path. I read the Word but I let it linger on the surface, never going deeper than a verse and pretty picture on a poster. And then I invite my sins and my failings to trample upon it freely, preventing it from growing within my heart.

I am also the rocky ground. I hear without listening. I am attracted to the Word but attraction, as it always will, wears off quickly. My heart is restless and in that restlessness the Word cannot grow to be fruitful.

I am also the thorns, which is, I believe, the worst of the worst. In my selfishness and pride, I choke out the Word from my heart. I keep it not only from myself, but poison it for others as well.

Thankfully, I am also the rich soil. Being so takes hard work. I need to be present to the Word, attentively tilling and watering to keep it sustainable. I also need quiet stillness to let the Word settle in my heart. My willingness to set aside worldly distractions will bear great fruit. 

The promises of Christ are greater than what the world offers but I too often fall to the temptations and instancy of the world. I need to be the rich soil. I need to spend time in prayer preparing my heart. I have ears to hear, so I must listen. I have eyes to see, so I must be attentive to what I see. Then my heart will be prepared to gain understanding and to seek first the promises of the Word.

Lord Jesus, may I participate in my own salvation by preparing my heart to truly hear your Word and truly see your goodness. Help me, Lord. Till my soil. Open my ears and eyes to the glory of your cross and resurrection. Settle into my heart. Amen

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