“But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” (Mt 13:23)
Jesus tells us the parable of the sower who sows his seed on four types of soil, each producing more or less fruit. The first three areas do not bear any fruit: along the path the seed is eaten by birds; on rocky ground the sprouts are scorched because they have no roots; among the briars the seed is choked by thorns. The fourth soil is rich and the seed takes root and bears fruit.
If God is the sower and we are the seeds, then what represents the soil in my life? After reading this passage, my immediate reaction to the four types of soil was to compare each of them to the types of friends I have in my life. The people in my life vary from family to friends, acquaintances, to colleagues, and faith filled to doubtful. A great deal of the friends or the environment we find ourselves in will affect the likeliness we will yield fruit. If we find ourselves surrounded by friends rich in faith, we might also bear fruit.
While it is important to take stock of our environment and how it may influence our growth, we should also look into our hearts. This parable reminds us that we are the soil where the Lord tirelessly sows the seed of His love. How do we receive it? How is our heart? Which soil does it resemble? We can choose to become good soil tilled with care, so it may bear good fruit for us and for others..
Whether your soil is rich or barren, it is important to recognize where you are at this very moment. If we are honest, we might find evidence of several kinds of soil in our lives on any given day. God, our gracious sower, sows seed unsparingly. He does not plant seeds forcefully. He does not plot in perfect rows. Rather, he gives every seed an opportunity and meets us where we’re at, even in desolation.
The sower keeps sowing even in the least promising places. Jesus’ investment in his disciples shows that He will not give up on them. We trust that He will not give up on us either, but will keep working on whatever is hardened, rocky, or thorny within us.