2 Thessalonians 3
“Some [seed] fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.” —Matthew 13:5
In gardening, what should one do when one encounters rocks underneath the surface of the soil? Well, if one wants a fruitful harvest or if one wants their plants to grow, one would start removing those rocks from the soil because roots cannot get through this type of soil. If one has some large boulder-size rocks on the property, one would probably call a few friends over to help move them. This is no different in the spiritual life. When there is something blocking growth in the Christian life, it could be an indicator that there are some rocks under the surface of one’s life that are affecting the roots of God’s Word from going deep into one’s life.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus tells us, “Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow…. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away” (Matthew 13:5, 20-21).
Some of us may be in that place, where we have heard the message of Jesus, received it with joy, but the moment a test or a trial comes our way—like a loss of a job, loved one or a relationship that was unhealthy—we get distracted and the roots have not gone deep. Gardening is hard work. One has to get into the dirt and dig stuff out. It is not easy, but a gardener who wants fruit is a hard-working gardener.
In the Old Testament, when God led His people out of Egypt into the Promised Land, everybody stepped into the promise of what God was giving them—a land flowing with milk and honey. However, when the Israelites entered into the Promised land, it still required them to be obedient to their God and do the difficult work of preparing the land so that it could bear milk and honey. Similarly, God has brought us into the promise of Christ but, in order to enjoy the abundance of what He has brought us into, it requires us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling as He does His work in us.
We do not do the gardening work alone. We join God in what He is doing by His Spirit at work within us. We also do it in community with brothers and sisters helping us lift the boulders from underneath the surface of our life and be a garden ready to grow.
Dear Jesus, thank You that I do not do the gardening work of my life alone. By Your Spirit’s work in my life and brothers and sisters coming alongside me to help clear the boulders, I want to grow deeply in You.