“He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field” Matthew 13:24
This was one of the first parables I remember learning about as a child. We were taught about the four types of ground and coloured in pictures of the four scenes. It was all so well packaged and neat. Each person represented a type of person who responded to the Gospel.
When I was older and re-read the parable I began to see myself in each of the four scenarios and I started to feel a little uncomfortable. The security blanket that I was a “good responder” to the Gospel had all of a sudden shown me up. I wasn’t just one type of ground… I was all of them.
Firstly, there was the roadside, the hard ground. When the seed landed here it had no impact, it couldn’t bed down so was carried away by the birds as food. Next was the rocky ground that had no depth. The message was excitedly received but the lack of depth meant that it couldn’t weather the storms and scorching of life.
Third, the thorny ground where the seed took root but didn’t last. The thorns of life’s worries and concerns sprang up and smothered it from growing. Finally, the fertile ground; here were the right conditions for growth and the seed thrived.
What’s different from my Sunday School lesson is that I can be each type of ground. It’s not a cut and dry. Some days we can deny God his place in our decisions, other days we have the best of intentions but it just doesn’t work out the way we want it to.
For our ground to be fertile the conditions must be right. Our response to the sowing of God is essential. Why not come to Father God and ask him to reveal to you how you can daily prepare your hearts to have the right conditions for his seed to take root.