Nourishment for our Souls
Her name is Big Momma. Her life began in Louisiana, but she currently lives in Texas. As you might imagine, she is both quite large and quite good at producing offspring. My family is privileged to care for one of those offspring. It is rather simple work – a little attention every few weeks is really all that is required. Oh, perhaps I should have specified earlier. Big Momma is an Aloe Vera.
A few months ago, in an effort to show love to my wife, I repotted our baby Aloe from Big Momma. It had outgrown its pot and was starting to look somewhat dreary. Armed with my imaginary horticulture degree from 15 minutes of internet searches, I made the purchase of what I deemed the perfect soil and then repotted the Aloe. Best husband ever, I know.
Fast forward a few months and you find my wife and I repotting the Aloe, again. As things go, I had picked out a terrible soil mixture. The Aloe was all but dead. Plants are amazingly intricate and complex organisms, but they essentially only need four things to grow: good soil, water, sunlight and time. When any of these are out of balance, the plant cannot thrive.
That is essentially the backdrop for Jesus’ parable in Matthew 13. He teaches the large crowds that our hearts are like soil for the message of the Kingdom of God. The message will not take root in the wrong heart, He says. The right kind of heart, however, is both hearing and understanding (Matthew 13:23 NIV). This yields to good fruit being produced in our lives 30, 60 or 100 times what we received.
- Good Soil – The soil is the heart – a heart ready and open to receive the Word. A heart willing to be cultivated by the Great Gardener. Ezekiel 36:26 – I will replace your heart of stone with a heart of flesh.
- Water – In John 4 Jesus tells the woman at the well that He gives living water. It quenches our truest and deepest thirst, the thirst of the Spirit. It will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
- Light – Psalm 119:105 The Word of God is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.
- Time – It takes time. It takes investment. It takes patience and willingness. Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. And in seasons when you feel there is no outward growth, do not neglect the work that God is doing to deepen and strengthen the roots.
The first step in this process is allowing God to make our hearts new. Then we are nourished by the living water that comes from knowing Jesus Christ and the light of the Word penetrating and warming our weary ways by the work of the Spirit. We have every good thing we need for God to cultivate our lives to produce good fruit -- the kind that brings life to a parched and desolate land.
This week, may God work on the soils of our hearts so that we may be known by the fruits of the Spirit. - Jason Simon, Minister to Students