Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Growing Conditions

Fertile or fallow? That is the question.

What can be gleaned (
good farming term) from God's dealings with Jacob in particular, and Israel in general? Certainly far more than I can cover here, for never has He forsaken them - proof positive that His promises to Abraham are sure, true, everlasting. So are they - His promises - to me/us.

How refreshing! How comforting!

Even so, there is danger afoot where fallow hearts are concerned (
been there; done that!) ...

O Israel,” says the L
“if you wanted to return to me, you could.
You could throw away your detestable idols
and stray away no more.
Then you would be a blessing to
the nations of the world,
and all people would come
and praise my name.”
This is what the L
ord says to the
people of Judah and Jerusalem:

“Plow up the hard ground of your hearts!
Do not waste your good seed among thorns.
O people of Judah and Jerusalem,
surrender your pride and power.
Change your hearts before the L
ord ...
Jeremiah 4:2-7

Fallow ground is:
  • cultivated land that is allowed to lie idle during the growing season
  • the tilling of land without sowing it for a season
Although the following promise is given specifically to Jacob (and wow, hasn't He kept it, even though an even greater restoration awaits?!), it is a promise I often appropriate for myself, and for those I love, especially when the fallow ground of my heart or theirs appears blighted by drought or fruitlessness.

This is what the LORD says—
he who made you,
who formed you in the womb,

and who will help you ...

Do not be afraid,

O Jacob, m
y servant,
whom I have chosen.

For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;

I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing o
n your descendants.

They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams.

Isaiah 44:2-4

In God's agricultural business, the best conditions for growth have never changed. He alone knows what amendments (the stinky stuff) are necessary to render fallow ground fertile. What's more, and depending on what crop He has sown, there will be great differences in both the amount of time and effort necessary to feed, water, weed, fertilize, prune and bring to harvest.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have
crucified the sinful nature
with its passions and desires.
Since we live by the Spirit,
let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Galatians 4:22-25

P.S. Why is it that one's growth so often requires fertilizer; and picks up pace in such stinky places?


Diana said...

We are always in need of His living water! Thanks for some great words this morning.

Andrea said...

Thank you for reminding us not to allow our hearts to become idle ground. We need HIS fertilizer (His word) daily!

manthano said...

Isn't that just like us. We neglect
the crop or growth of our heart
and soul for everything else.

Thank you.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I've definitely seen God's plow in recent days... felt it as well. It's my neglect in regards to sowing good seed that has left the soil of my heart underdeveloped and not yet producing the kind of fruit he desires.

Our holiness is a cooperative effort, is it not? His and mine. How thankful I am for God's staying on the job even when I'm more content to take a coffee break.

Great visual Sassy. I needed this today.


LisaShaw said...

A word for today, tomorrow and beyond.

As I leave you today I take away your P.S. which says it all for me. Thank you dear friend.

RCUBEs said...

What a great post to remind me to nourish my roots and dig deeper into prayer and His Word.

So thankful that God, our patient Gardener, gives each plant what it needs to thrive. God bless.

Loren said...

It is so true how our growth requires fertilizer and picks up pace in the stinky places! How I could share and the stinkier the stronger the healing! :) I guess HE knew that if I came out smelling like roses it wouldn't be much of a challenge now would it! I am so thankful for rolling around in the stink!

Bless you my friend Love you

Denise said...

Such a powerful word for today, thank you.

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

I'm also reminded of the how even fertile grounds need rest. So ever now and again, a crop is sown in a something like grasses. This isn't all the time but there does come a time when it's needed. Or the fruit from the crops become less productive.

Beth E. said...

While we do need fertilizer to change the fallow to fertile, we must be very careful that the 'stinky stuff' doesn't get piled up in our lives. There have been times - over the years - that my life was full of it!

Great post, Sassy.

Heart2Heart said...


You know even without fertilizer stuff will still grow, but once you add it to something, what a change you begin to see in the quality of what is being grown.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat


I enjoyed looking over your blog
God bless you

christy rose said...

What a great post Kathleen. I like what Beth added in her comment, that we have to be careful not to let the stinky stuff pile up though. Too much of can burn the fruitful plant without the proper ratio of nutrition along with it. :) I know I have been burned and swallowed up in it myself. :)

Nel said...

Enjoyed your thoughts today... You always make the brain start turning! Thanks for sharing and thanks for your comments on my Random Dozen.

until next time... nel

Saleslady371 said...

And here, I thought I knew what fallow meant. Lots to contemplate here!

KelliGirl said...

I'm sensing a need for some turning over of the hardened soil of my heart. The words of Isaiah 44 rain on my parched soul. Thanks for the refreshing pause.

Karen Lange said...

Good stuff! You always encourage me:)
Hugs and blessings,