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Consider what your soil bears

Virgil was a Roman poet of long ago, but these words remind us of the importance of considering where it is we both sow and reap: "Consider what each soil will bear, and what each refuses." The type of soil is important because it directly correlates to what will be either accepted and produce, or what will be rejected, leaving good seed to become withered or choked out in time. What is the soil of your heart really like? At this very moment, would you say your heart's soil is well-cultivated, capable of bearing a bountiful harvest? Or would you say there are portions of your heart that haven't embraced anything worthwhile in a good long while? It could be we need to listen to what God is telling us about the condition of our hearts - because the good seed will never be embraced and produce a good harvest if the soil is never prepared!

Can papyrus grow tall on a dry land? Can reeds grow without water? No, they will dry up before harvest. They will be too small to cut and use. People who forget God are like that. Those who oppose him have no hope. They have put their trust in something weak. It is like a spider’s web. When they lean against it, it will break. When they reach out for it, it will not hold them up. Such people are like a vine that gets plenty of water and sunshine, and its branches spread throughout the garden. Its roots spread among the rocks, searching for good soil. But if you move it, it will die, and no one can tell it was ever there. Everything might have been going well, but another vine will take its place. God does not support evil people, and he does not abandon the innocent. (Job 8:11-18)

Seeds need the right soil. If you want weeds to grow, do you have to invite them? No, they seem to find the 'right place' to grow! A reed is a tall form of what some come to think of as 'grass' - it needs pretty moist soil in which to send down its roots. It cannot grow apart from the 'right soil' it needs. Did you realize when you refer to someone as a 'reed', you are really saying they are people who are weak or impressionable? Their roots are planted, they show signs of being strong, but they move like crazy! The water dries up and they are not able to sustain life any longer. They become useless because they have no solid foundation for their growth - their resources for growth evaporate! 

The vine may grow a little stronger because it has 'searching roots', but it really has 'wandering roots'. The purpose of the roots going outward is so that it can find another place to surface - to send up growth. It may not be in the ideal place, or even desired growth, but it sends out the root in search of that next place to emerge. Vines are known for their 'clinging roots' - they not only wander, but they like to 'cling' to whatever they come in contact with. The problem is that they may not always be in contact with the best stuff that will produce the most fruitful of growth. They have something the reed does not - clinging tendrils. These tendrils may keep them in place, but they don't serve to ensure they have a good footing!

The type of soil is important, but so is the root system we are trying to cultivate. We can be trees planted by the stream, with strong tap roots that won't settle for mediocre growth, clinging onto whatever we can find. As trees send down that tap root, it isn't for show - it is for stability and growth. Did you realize that the root system of any growing thing actually weighs more than the thing produced? Why? It is the source of all that surfaces! There can be evidence of growth, but the question is if all the growth we give evidence of is really the growth God desires. Just sayin!

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