That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea.........
........And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach. And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.
"Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. "But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. "Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.
And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear." Matthew 13:1-9
If you have ever planted a garden, you know the importance of getting all the elements right. Way before you plant the seed, you meticulously mix the soil. You add everything you think it needs, just the right balance of every chemical component you can think of that might help turn seeds into plants. You plant the seeds.....you water, you pray for sun, then rain, you go out every morning and if you are like my friend, you speak encouraging words to them....
Then, magically the first green shoot appears and you feel an exultant joy, you are the proud parent of a little sprout! They really do begin to feel a bit like your children! But here is what every farmer or gardener knows. Sometimes no matter what you do, they don't make it. I know this feeling of helplessness. I recently babysat some little sprouts while the master gardener was gone. I took it personally when some of them died. I asked myself, "What did I do wrong?' "What could I have done to save them?"
Sometimes we beat ourselves up because we think we could have done more, said something different, but the truth is, we can only lead them to the living water, we can't make them drink.
There is not one thing more Jesus can do to save us. I think when He went out into the wilderness for that forty day test, He was thinking of us. He was already praying for those who would accept His message joyfully, but He also knew not everyone would.
"Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal.' The Message
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