Spring is here in the southern United States and, with the exception of the pollen, is a most welcome occurrence after the dreary, rainy winter. The budding trees and emerging flowers signal a vegetable gardener like me that it’s time to begin work in our patch of land out back. So, with the help of the family, Clif and I have begun the process of turning the ground, and preparing the soil to insure that we’re ready when the ground is warm enough to set out some young plants and drop a few seeds in the ground. The work now is necessary so that we can confidently look forward to the prospect of a bountiful crop that we will enjoy all summer, and with preservation, carry us into the fall and winter.
.Today, for most people in industrialized countries, planting a vegetable garden is an enjoyable hobby, but that wasn’t that way in past generations. Not very long ago, a family needed to be diligent sow and plant at the right time in order to sustain themselves from one year to the next. That meant continuous, diligent work. And just like the preparation process we did recently, it had to commence long before they ever had actual need to eat the produce that would come from their labors.
You know, reading the Word of God is often just like that. Most believers would agree that regular time spent in the Bible is important, but they often neglect it until a crisis occurs. Then in desperation, they run to it hoping that a frantic search will yield fruit quickly to stave off starvation.
While it’s true that God’s Word is full of deep truth that will satisfy and deliver, we need to cultivate a relationship with it, and understanding through it, that resembles the diligence of a faithful farmer rather than a visitor to a fast food restaurant.
Attentive and regular study of the scriptures that begins (and continues) in times of warmth and mild weather plows up the ground in our hearts that has been hardened by doubt, anxiety, fear and pain, and readies it to receive the seeds of truth.
As we daily water, fertilize, and weed through the diligent application of divine truth, God’s words sprout up, and grow into a harvest of righteousness that will delight us in seasons of sunshine and sustain us through the long cold months of trial and testing.
So, if you are enjoying a season of warm spring and summer days, allow me to urge you to open your copy of the Bible now. Prepare you heart by sowing the seeds of the Word of God today (even if you think you don’t need them) so that later, you will endure and rejoice in the marvelous bounty of God’s guidance, provision and protection.