Good Soil

It felt like an AA meeting must. Everyone sat in a circle, stating their name and their reason for being there. Most of those in attendance said something like, “I just want to be a better gardener” but one man in particular was very specific as to what had caused him to join the Master Gardener course.

“My mama used to grow beautiful tomatoes. For the last 4 years, I’ve been trying to get my tomatoes to look like the ones my mama served us, but all I get are little puny ones. I can’t get them any bigger than this.” With that, he pulled his fingers into a circle about the size of a golf ball – maybe just a little bigger. The teacher assured him that this was a realistic goal and he would make a concerted effort to assist him.

As the class neared its end Mr Tomato Head was not pleased. Even after the several hundred dollar investment of the Master Gardener course, his tomatoes were still puny. Definitely not mama-sized. The instructor asked that he bring a few in, so that he could see what they were dealing with.

The following week, he obliged and there on the table were his tomatoes. His puny oversized golf ball tomatoes. His golf ball sized CHERRY tomatoes lined up on the table. The confusion regarding his puny tomatoes was quickly resolved.

So, what would make cherry tomatoes grow that big? Good soil.

If you’re not from the midwest, you may not appreciate the beauty and majesty of a freshly plowed field. There is something that is very close to an act of worship in tilling up Indiana soil. It is rich and fragrant, the inky dark host of new life, waiting to be released. It is truly a delight to behold.

Frequently we will stop by the side of the road to do nothing more than just breathe in the scent of provision, that is being birthed in the fields. We, oddballs that we are, absolutely revel in the beauty of abundance as evidenced by the soil. We stop and give thanks for the creation of soil – the womb of the Earth.

Last night I was on a call with 2 dear, dear women in my life. The Lord has blessed me with them in ways I can’t even begin to communicate. I know too, that our time together is only just beginning and I expect that my life will be immeasurably changed by our relationship. But, last night, they were talking about another couple that is in their lives.

This couple was a young couple with several children. They were newly off the mission- field and in need of help. As these dear friends of mine were praying, the Lord said to them, “Invest in them, they are good soil.”

As my friends shared that phrase, I began to weep. What a gift! What an honor!! For the Lord to look at these precious newly returned missionaries and say that was an incredible statement in my estimation.

In one small sentence, Father spoke volumes to me. He reminded me that first of all, He is the Lord of the Harvest, it is He who plants and prunes and shapes the green growth of our life. He reminded me that this call on our lives is one that requires the seed to fall and die, that new life might come forth.

I knew then, that this was a phrase I hoped someone would one day hear Father use to describe us: “Invest in them, they’re good soil.”

Oh my Lord, I come – I come to You, with the expectation that You will work the soil of my heart, to cause it to become fertile for You planting. Father I come, seeking to be obedient to all that it requires to become good soil. I not only ask, gracious Lord, that You would find me to be good soil for the things You desire to grow in my life, I also ask that I would be mindful to listen to You – to hear You ask me to invest in someone else’s life. A life that is fertile and ready for Your seeds to be planted in them.

Blessed Lord Jesus, thank You for being the ultimate demonstration of a life that is good soil. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing! Amen ~

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