Cultivating the soil of our hearts

I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11

Good Monday Morning to this week 07 of 2019

I just spent a very inspirational week visiting an ecological farming project in Moldova. Because it was during the depth of winter we didn’t speak too much about planting or about the harvest, but we spent most of the time speaking about the soil.

A degraded soil typically loses its ability to supply food and habitation to living organisms, in its surrounding. Characteristics of a degraded soil include high salinity, the decline in fertility, the decline in organic matter leading to declining in soil structure, soil erodibility, increase in alkalinity and acidity. Soil degradation can be caused by agricultural activities disturbing the soil structure and its drainage capacity.

Green manures and cover crops serve as mulch to the soil preventing the soil from wind/water erosion and moisture loss. They also increase the soil organic matter content as they decompose in the soil.

Organic compost is a great method of fertilizing the soils compared to inorganic fertilizers. Compost is a mixture of decomposed plant parts and animal waste. The key benefit of composting is that it increases soil organic matter content. Organic matter improves the soil fertility, the soil structure and its water holding capacity.

Crop rotation is a farming practice which involves growing different types of crops in one location sequentially.

In Bible times plowing was done with very light spear tip tines, which did not invert the soil, but instead loosened the soil to a very shallow depth for planting.

In many of the ways, we treat the soil of our souls or hearts, often like the current industrial farms plow their fields and use a quick fix for the land like fertilizers, destroying the soil on the long run.

What if this picture of organic soil management could help us understand the restoration of our soul?

There’s no question, we all want to have a heart likened to the well prepared, restored and fertile soil, where the seed of God’s Word is nurtured and the roots go deep so that we grow and produce good fruit. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The soil of our heart changes and we need to work at it to keep it soft and fertile. Just like a farmer prepares the ground to receive the seed he is about to plant, our Master Farmer prepares our heart for the truths of His Word.

Again and again, we heard from Toby and Urs the farmers, don’t plow, don’t uproot everything, plan to cover the fields, leave a mulch or “God’s blanket” as the guys from “Farming God’s way” in South Africa say.

Hosea 10:12 tells us, “Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now, is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.

I see many parallels in our personal lives. We could try to uproot all our history calling it bad, we could try to be perfect, we could try to have changed or imported (fertilized) soil of our souls, we could stir everything up not accepting who we are in Christ and who He is in us.

Christ in us, is the blanket, the cover, the nutrition, the restorer, the carer of the soil of our hearts. He doesn’t need us to be someone else, from the time He adopted us, He started to work the soil in us to return health and growth to our lives.

I wish you ” healthy cultivation of the soil of your hearts” and a very good week.

Philemon

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