20 Jun Grow Where You’re Planted
My thumb has been slowly turning green, lately. Not literally, of course. But, my interest in agriculture and planting seeds has been growing. I have always been interested in starting up a garden. I want to make a little bed and start planting some peppers, beans and other veggies we can use, but for now I am starting small. I am starting with a simple avocado seed. I am on my second one because the first one seemed to shrivel up. To be honest, I am not sure about this one, either. But, regardless of the circumstance, I will keep learning and trying new things with it. It’s definitely fun and the process of growing an avocado seed is very interesting. I welcome you to join me. You can find the process by clicking here. It starts out partially dipped in a cup of water until it sprouts. Then, it is moved to a pot, and once it grows enough, it can be planted outdoors to become a tree. The entire process is quite lengthy and requires a great amount of patience and care.
There are lots of references about growth and plants in the Bible. Christ calls us the branches connected to Him, the Vine (John 15:5). In Proverbs 3:18, wisdom is a tree. We see more trees in Revelation 22:2. If you go through Scripture, there are many allegories using agriculture. He wants us planted in fertile grounds near water. He wants us to be pruned daily to bear fruit. It’s clear that God wants us to grow.
In this blog, I want to focus on Mark 4:1-20. I encourage you to take a moment to read it, and then come back to this post. In “The Parable of the Sower”, Jesus talks about the seeds that have fallen in different environments. The sower’s intention is for the seeds to grow, however, they all land on 4 different environments. Some landed on the path where they were eaten by birds. Some seeds landed on rocky dirt, only to be burned up by the sun. Some seeds landed on decent soil, but were choked up by other plants. Others landed on good soil, growing deep and producing much crop.
Haven’t we all been in each situation? We know that God has amazing promises for us. His plan for us is to thrive and produce a great harvest for the Kingdom; but sometimes, we end up like the seeds in harsh environments.
We tend to be like the seeds that are sown on the path and allow the enemy to come in and steal our joy, peace and promises over our lives. How many of us have tried to settle in a place where the environment is so toxic that we cannot focus on His peace? Or maybe in a place where you do so much work to the point of burning out and all joy and zeal has gone out the window? We try to plant ourselves in a place where we become so distracted, that we forget His promises and plan for our lives. Don’t stay on the path. Move to fresh soil.
Maybe you are in rocky soil right now. You are in a place where you started off strong, but it’s hard to grow deep roots. And as soon as trouble comes, you burn right up. Don’t stay in shallow ground. Get rooted in the Word and prayer.
Lastly, maybe you’re planted in soil with thorns and other plants. Jesus says it well enough in Mark 4:19, “…but the worries of life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.”(NIV) It’s so easy to get choked out by focusing on everything else. We get placed in a position like this seed and feel excited because we’re surrounded by things that appear to be growing, but we fail to realize that these plants are merely weeds and thorns just looking to rob the resources that give us life. You may even barely stay alive, but you don’t grow any grain.
I have been in all of these situations. I have allowed the enemy to rob my peace, by trying to grow in places where I had no business growing; jobs and circles that promised things that would never be delivered. I have tried to grow in places where I thought I had enough wisdom and strength; but when trouble came my way, my faith was rocked. I have tried to grow alongside plants I aspired to be like because they were so tall, only to find out these plants sucked the life out of me – I wanted to be like the tall plants because I thought I would find God in the sky only to later find out He was in the dirt all along. Now I find myself in the dirt and I am longing to grow in His word, fully committed to what He wants for my life. Peace, joy, faith, strength, and life is all found in the dirt.
Like the avocado seed, we grow in different situations. This seed begins in a cup of water, but there comes a point where we need to move it and continue to cultivate and nurture it. Environments and weather change, and it is in these moments that we are prepared and know what it takes to ensure a plant’s safety. We must treat ourselves in the same fashion. God has planted you on this earth to produce – not for yourself, but for others; for the Kingdom. Don’t allow the harsh environments of life to rob the Word God has over you. Get rooted in His Word. Hold on to His promise. Grow where you’re planted.