Saturday, April 12, 2008

Breaking up the fallow ground

Sow for yourselves according to righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God); reap according to mercy and loving-kindness. Break up your (fallow) uncultivated ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, to inquire for and of Him, and to require His favor, till He comes and teaches you righteousness and rains His righteous gift of salvation upon you.
Hosea 10:12 (Amplified Bible)

On my way to work a couple of weeks ago, I noticed the farmland on either side of the road that I was traveling. The fields that were flat and void of any kind of crops all winter were now freshly plowed. The black rich soil had been turn upside down and it seemed every which way. The soil of these fields that had “rested” all winter, were now lumps and bumps of earth facing the rising sun…waiting.

About 2 weeks have gone by and I am on my way to work again and this time as I notice, the fields are now covered with rows of rich, green plants. And the scriptures above came to mind. Breaking up “fallow” ground as one-translation calls uncultivated ground is not an easy task. The days of the horse and plow are mostly over and in place are new machines that plow up the fields. But it is still a hard task. The ground that has been sitting dormant for several months is very hard to till.

Some of us have been through a season of spiritual “winter”, a wilderness if you will, of aloneness. Maybe you have questioned what is the meaning of your life, what is the purpose of it. Why are you here? Wondering if maybe God has forgotten about you or that maybe you’ve missed it somewhere along the way. You had such grand plans of the way things were supposed to be and somehow…it didn’t happen. We may not have understood it, but it is what it was. At times it may have felt that no one understood you or your pain, but you learned to live with it and here you are… you made it! Some of us made it by withdrawing, maybe not noticeable to others, but in your heart you withdrew from life, from hope. You covered it with a smile, put on a brave front. You went about your daily life status quo but a heart that was once full of hope became fallow ground.

When there came trials, or hardships, we just added it to the pile of hopelessness and sighed. But I believe that God uses these things to break up the fallow ground of our lives. It is not easy to go through these things, but God has a purpose. In order to “plant” a new harvest, the fallow ground must be broken and turned upside down and in and out (does that sound like what’s been happening to you?)

As the ground yielded to the farmer’s plowing and then the planting, the result was new growth. Do we want “new growth” in our lives? Do we want something fresh in God? Do we want all that He has to offer us in this lifetime? Then we too must yield to His breaking up the soil of our hearts that may have become hardened over time. We must ask Him to nurture and cultivate our hearts afresh so that He can bless us with His plans for our lives…lives with hope and yes joy!

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