Better Than a John Deere

Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of. (Charles Spurgeon)

If you have wondered about the value of the present 'trial' you are enduring, you might just wrap your words around Spurgeon's thoughts today. They 'dig up the soil' of our lives - revealing to us exactly what we are made of. Sometimes we discover the soil is pretty much 'infertile' - rocky, hardened, and just plain 'uninhabitable'. At others we may find that soil to be easily turned, full of all that will give and bring life, and able to bear much fruit. Do you know something? It is the same soil! It is just that the latter has been 'worked' a little bit more by the hands of the one who knows exactly how to bring forth life and fruit from our lives.

Dear ones, don’t be surprised when you experience your trial by fire. It is not something strange and unusual, but it is something you should rejoice in. (I Peter 3:12-13)

I am looking at the condition of some of my raised beds right now and noticing just how much the soil within them needs a good 'turning'. It needs to be aerated again, turned over so the roots of the plants can penetrate the soil more easily, and the leaves that have landed on top of that soil can be turned into the soil so they can begin to decay and provide nourishment for the plants. It isn't that I don't know 'what' to do to make them grow better - it is that I don't always take the time to do it! The same holds true in my own life. It isn't that I don't know what God is after in my life - it is that I don't give him my time or attention long enough for him to actually do it!

There is no excuse for some of our 'infertile soil' in life - it is simply that we have allowed it to become neglected. No wonder God will use some form of trial to begin the turning process - to begin to stimulate growth in those areas where it has become stagnant, or even non-existent. I don't imagine the soil in the farmer's acres look fondly upon the passage of the disc harrow attached to the tractor he maneuvers throughout those acres. That 'harrow' has but one purpose - to chop up the weeds and left-over crop remnants, while breaking up the soil. Yet, I know the acres are likely to be more displeased with the use of the plow! Why? It digs deeper, cutting into the soil, and exposing what is hidden.

God uses some trials as plows, while others are just like the harrow. Some will cut deep, expose much, and get at the 'root' of what holds back growth in our lives. Others will simply rejuvenate the soil of our lives so that we are ready for the fresh work of growth God wants to bring forth. I don't know why we resist trials so much, but I know we wouldn't if we fully understood the purpose behind each one. I have learned one thing - God uses the right implements at the right time to produce the right results the soil of my life most desperately needs. How about you? Have you learned to fully appreciate the 'implements' God uses to rejuvenate your life? If not, today could be the place where you begin to allow God to dig up, turn under, and refresh your life again. Just sayin!

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