Updated: Jul 11, 2021
If I expect my garden to grow healthy plants that produce fruit, I have to prepare and tend the soil before there are any plants to grow.
In the same vein, if we want our hearts to produce fruit we also need to prepare. What does it look like for us to tend to the soil of our hearts? What about our minds? How do we weed out anything that is taking up valuable space? Jesus says in the parable of the seeds that some were scattered onto hard soil, some onto rock, some choked out by weeds, and some fell on soft soil that grew into healthy plants. The only soil that produced longstanding fruit and nourishment was the soft soil, the one that was prepared.
Year after year of planting in the same soil diminishes the natural nutrients that have built up in the yard over the decades. If I take and take and take without replenishing those nutrients, what will come of my plants? Will there ever be any fruit?
I spent one afternoon in January with my husband, laying down cardboard, covering it with leaves, layering manure, and more leaves. He mulched the leaves with his lawnmower and I shoveled manure until the garden was completely covered. Now it sits again absorbing the nutrients from the organic material until the frost has passed and seeds can be sown.
Thoughtful planning now prepares the soil for a bountiful harvest later.
We have a choice when it comes to our spiritual soil. After a season of giving and pouring out, it is necessary to get to those quiet places with God and prepare. What weeds may be growing up in your heart? Where is the soil hard and diminished? Where may you be running out of fuel, or bitter from a time of hardship?
May the Lord walk with you as you search out these things with him. He is the good God and he desires to help you prepare the soil of your heart. If you feel like your heart isn’t growing any plants, maybe it's just a time of waiting and preparation.
He is the vine, we are his branches. John 15