A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.
I have the brownest thumb around, but that does not mean that I have not tried to make it green. Even with my lack of skill in the garden, I am smart enough to know a few things. Weeds will grow anywhere they have even the slightest opening for growth. However, the plants we want to see grow and thrive will be a lot more sensitive in early life. A weed no one wants to see will grow in a crack in the sidewalk and might even return after being treated and killed. Throw some pumpkin or tomato seeds in that same crack, and you will see no growth. Those seeds require more specific conditions to sprout and take root. They require care, work, and knowledge.
I once planted an avocado seed in a large pot on a balcony. I guess the soil was too shallow, and the seed was exposed, because I returned home on that first day to find the seed dug up and gone. Some varmint had sniffed it out and taken it, and I never saw the seed again. Likewise, the word of God is powerful but sensitive. It requires controlled conditions in order to go from a seedling to a fruit-bearing tree in us. If we want meaningful and lasting growth, we must have good soil. There are many kinds of bad soil, each with its weaknesses, but there is only one kind of good soil. It has to be tilled, churned, and fertilized, but that is not where the gardener’s work ends. That seed in that soil must be guarded.
The seed that falls on the path is trampled or stolen because the path lacks the depth necessary to protect the seed. The rocky ground cannot bring growth because the rocks cannot hold the necessary moisture. The seed among the thorns has been planted where dangerous weeds have been allowed to grow, but they should have been taken out first. The good soil has depth, absorbs water, and has been cleared of dangerous thorns. This is about accepting the word as truth, allowing God to soften our hearts to hold that truth, and removing from our hearts the sinfulness that tries to extinguish it. Father, bring us the humility, faith, and purity necessary for your seed to grow in us.