Posted by: Jo | May 30, 2014

Seed for the Soul

“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.” (Luke 8:11)

image Last week I was searching through my book cases for a book I was sure I still had, but could not remember where I had placed it. This often can be a very time consuming occupation for me, because I keep coming across books I haven’t read for ages and cannot stop myself from delving into them one more time and of course forgetting the real reason I am here and the book I am searching for. As I was searching, a small book wedged behind another, tumbled out. This little book had been given to me years ago by a dear friend and I was delighted to find it again. It was called “THE WORD IS THE SEED” by George Appleton and was published 30 years ago. As I read these beautiful meditations I was touched all over again by the simplicity and the wisdom portrayed within the words. This is an example;

O God,

it is good to know

that there is a Sower

who brings the seed.

I have only to prepare the soil

for the seed he brings –

an honest and good heart

Give me that heart, O God.

Here in North America it is spring and gardening is very much a happening thing. Every serious gardener knows that before any planting takes place, preparing the soil is a most important step if one wants to reap that plentiful harvest. I feel the parable of the Sower was a wonderful example of gardening tips for the soul and Appleton recognizes this in his little prayer. The psalmists also knew that the place we have to start to receive and absorb God’s word is our heart.

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)

image Preparing the heart to receive the seed of God’s word, is like any earthly planting. Any weeds or nettles or anything that may obstruct growth must first be eradicated from the soil, so too with our hearts. Even after planting, tender care of plants, watering/ fertilizing/ weeding is still needed to achieve healthy and abundant growth. So too with our hearts if we wish that precious seed, the word of God, to flourish. Firstly we have to examine carefully the condition of our hearts. Are there any obstacles quietly growing there, that might hinder God’s word firmly taking root in our souls; an unforgiving spirit / anger/ disobedience/ apathy. Secondly we have to ensure that once planted the seed needs to be cared for carefully, making sure that nourishment in the form of prayer/ time spent with the Lord/ reading God’s word/ worship/ is in plentiful supply. I love how George Appleton puts it;

O Divine Sower

the seed must have depth

firmly rooted against wind and storm

nourished in heat or dryness,

preserved in frost and cold,

drawing its nourishment

from the depths of being

Give me such a heart, O God

The wonderful reward of all this spiritual gardening, imageis knowing that our lives truly begin to reflect the love of our Lord to others and we are reminded to wait patiently for this to happen in this last stanza of Appleton’s poem and we will fulfill Jesus’ words;

“This is to my Father’s glory. That you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:8)

O Divine Sower

at the right time the seed will germinate,

the thin young blade will push its way

through the heart’s soil,

the ear will bud and fill,

the flower will open its face of beauty

at the moment of maturity

Give me a patient heart O, God.

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Responses

  1. […] Seed for the Soul […]

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  2. Thanks, Jo. I like the way Mr. Appleton referenced that God is the Sower, and that He gives us the good heart (soil). Just like a physical garden, we do have work to do, but God “gives the increase”.

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