Cold Hard Ground

Sow to yourselves in righteousness, Reap according to kindness. Break up your fallow ground; For it is time to seek Yahweh, Until He comes and rains righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12 WEB

I grew up on a farm and over the long cold winter, the ground of the fields would become so hard that water would just run off of it like it was rock. The rain would no longer penetrate the crust but just ran through the cracks in it. When spring came, we would have to plow it with a tractor, break it all up to get it ready to plant. We would then plant the seed, the rain would come, and later we would get a harvest. Each year we had to do this in order to see a harvest. Without work, there was no reward, and only weeds would be growing in the field.

Left alone, our hearts will become as hard as rock. Life happens, you add a little hurt here, another disappointment there, someone lies to you once again, and soon a bigger wall goes up to protect us. We can become cynical, and we add on another layer of protection. If the rain does come, it will run off still leaving us dry and bare because our hearts have grown hard and calloused from use, and abuse.

I had a rough upbringing. There was a time in my life when I could count everyone that I cared about on one hand, and still have a couple of fingers left. No one hurt me anymore because they were already an enemy when I met them. I could shake their hand and smile, but have my other hand on my old Case pocket knife, just in case.

Yet God did not leave me like that. Though I had no interest in people, as I tried to grow closer to Jesus, He began to peel those layers off of me like an onion. Slowly He opened me up and eventually I could show love, and be loved, something that I had never known before I met Him. He loved me too much to leave me like I was.

In ancient Palestine, farming was a bit different than today. They scattered the seed first, then plowed it into the ground. Think of the parable that Jesus told of the sower in Matthew 13:3. You hear the word of God, then we plow it into our ground by doing it. He will then take care of everything else and provide the rain, the nutrients, and the sunshine to make it grow. Working together with Him, we bring forth a harvest.

God can heal a hardened heart if you will let Him, but we often hold Him at a distance as well. We don't really trust Him. We have to work with Him to advance. He gives us a word, we break up the ground by doing what He told us, then He provides the rain. We study, He reveals something new, we then try and live it, and there is a reward. The rain that comes from being in the Lord's presence and His word will soften our hearts over time, make it grow, and begin to heal.

Seek the Lord and His presence and do not let your heart become cold and hard. Spend a little time talking to Him each day and cultivate a relationship. There can be no harvest until the ground is made ready, and there are many fields that have sat unchanged for decades.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please guide me and reveal the things that I need to change. Show me the next step clearly and give me the grace to do whatever is needed. Please help me break up the pieces of my life that have hardened, and send Your rain, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

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