Sunday, October 25, 2015

plowing time

The other day, I sat on my porch and watched a very large tractor plow the fields across the road. The farmer carefully followed a path to plow every inch of that ground and even went back over some areas. I have had the privilege of getting to see that field provide crops over the past couple of years.  Corn, soybeans, and wheat have all been planted and harvested.  It struck me how after the farmer had gone through and harvested the corn, he brought in a plow to turn under the left over corn stalks. This day, he was running that plow over that ground again to prepare it for the coming winter and prepare it for next spring.  Next spring, he will plow it again to remove the weeds and to prepare that ground for seeds.

It brought to mind the parable of Jesus spoke about the sower planting the seeds and some seeds fell by the wayside, some on the rocky ground, some fell among thorns, and some on the good ground.  (Mark ch. 4) How does the ground become good ground?  It is prepared by a good farmer.
To become good ground, we have to be plowed and prepared to be good ground. We have to have the rocks removed and the weeds destroyed.  Coming to repentance is the start, but our hearts are not always in the best condition.  Weeds try to sneak back in and grow.  Rocks or hardened areas of our heart still need to be softened.  God will work on us and keep plowing to soften our hardened hearts.  He will keep pulling out those weeds that choke His word and keep His will from growing.  We don’t always like these times.

How often do we go through times of ‘plowing’ and feel like God has brought us trials and allowed terrible things to happen?  We might feel like He is not there. We might feel forsaken.  We might even whine and cry about why this is happening.  But God is doing something that is for our good.  Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

We go through times of ease and times of hardship. We go through joy and pain.  We go through sufferings and time s of plenty.  But all is part of life and can be times of growth, times of preparation, and times of rest.  Ecclesiastes 3:1.
Sometimes we need to recognize that God is preparing us for something.  We may be in a struggle or a time of rest and feel like we aren’t doing much for Him,  but He sees what is coming.  He may be preparing us to face a battle.  He may be preparing us to be strong for someone else.  He may be preparing us to receive a great blessing. He may be preparing us to move in closer and deeper in relationship with Him.  In 2008, I had a bad car accident and was injured badly,  I did not understand and it was  hardship. I was off work for three months.  I stayed with my parents  for a few weeks so mom could take care of me for a while.  I was in no condition to care for my own family.  Two months after that accident, my parents left on a vacation to minister at a friends church and then visit family.  That Sunday night, my husband spoke about how God gives us strength to go through the fire.  He spoke about how God carries us and will be our comfort.  It was an anointed message that filled me with joy, peace and strength.  That very next morning, the call came that my parents were involved in a collision and both my parents were in bad shape.  Within the hour, we knew mom was gone and with Jesus. Dad was facing surgeries with a broken back, hand and ankle as well as a head injury.  God was so good. He had prepared me by giving me a time of rest to spend with my mom and dad before she was gone.  I got to spend time with her and have those deep conversations that we needed to have.  God prepared me. He gave us a message to strengthen us before the pain.  He carried us for the next few weeks in the palm of His hand as we prepared a funeral, helped dad and adjusted to life without mom.  God may have allowed a time of plowing just so I could go on. He knew what was coming and knew I needed to slow down and take some time to be with my mom.  I am ever grateful for those two months I got to spend everyday with my mom and dad. I am grateful for my dad still being here.

When the plowing is going on,  God is at work doing what he knows will bring us into a place to be good ground. We will receive the word of God, it will be planted and grow. We will bring for the fruit that he has purposed in our lives.
Psalms 51:10 can become our prayer.  “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right spirit within me.”

He will make us like that tree is driven by the wind and beat by the storm but our roots will remain firm in Him.  We will be grow and bring forth fruit.
Don’t despise the time of plowing.  It isn’t to destroy us, it is meant for our good.
He is creating in us, a soft, compassionate, good heart that receives His Word, allows it grow and become planted, rooted and grounded.  A heart that will not waiver will not be swayed, and will not turn from the truth of God’s love.

I pray, Lord, plow my heart, make it good ground.  Good ground that you can use for your purpose. Help me not despise the times of plowing or the times of rest.  Help me know it is for my good.

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