My Mother’s Day gifts this year were beautiful plants and floral bushes for our yard that my husband spent hours planting. Because some sections of our yard receive harsh sun and others full shade, we tried to be very strategic in choosing our new foliage. But even though my husband tilled our hard ground, carefully planted them and adjusted the sprinklers, there are still a couple plants that might not make it. It seems their roots just aren’t taking to the soil.

Reading the story of the sower in Matthew 13:3-8, I was reminded of my Mother’s Day gift. While we were very deliberate in choosing the location and care of the plants, the sower wasn’t. It’s almost comical thinking of him throwing seeds on rocks and a walking path, seemingly without any strategy or forethought, like a child throwing confetti. It seems wasteful and inefficient.

But then in Mathew 13:18-23, Jesus describes the path and rocks as conditions of the human heart, and the seeds as the “message about the kingdom” (NIV). Ah, that makes more sense! After all, how are we with mere human eyes able to know who is ready to hear about Christ and who isn’t. Instead, we shower Christ’s love on everyone, and pray that he softens the soil of their hearts.

Years ago as a young adult I went on a two-month summer mission trip. The organization I was with wanted my team to go door to door. Talk about feeling awkward! Thankfully, as an international group of students from the USA, Ireland, Poland and Canada we were a curiosity that people seemed eager to talk to. Some of our conversations or our seeds of faith fell on what the parable would describe as a path or rocks, but we didn’t know that God had prepared one specific woman to talk with us. The soil of her heart was softened and, while my friends back home were celebrating July Fourth, I had the privilege of leading a woman to Christ and connecting her to the new church plant we were helping start. Only God could do that.

So while we might think … what’s the point of sharing the hope we have in Christ if these seeds of faith just fall on hard paths or rocky soil, truly only God knows the heart. It’s his job to prepare the soil and our job to share Christ’s love to a hurting world.

By Cyndie de Neve
Senior Creative Director

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