For thus saith the Lord…Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns
Sow to yourselves in righteousness,
reap in mercy;
break up your fallow ground:
for it is time to seek the Lord,
till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
When we moved into the parsonage at Second Baptist, one of the things that immediately caught my attention was the large back yard. Having four kids from 4 to 12 years of age, lots of room to run is a good thing.
As I began to look at the back yard, I noticed that over half of the available yard had been allowed to grow over with brambles and long grass. Many years ago, one of the former pastors had used this section for a garden. It was a very large garden. Now, it was just tall grass, milkweed, and brambles.
In this photo, you can see the google earth image of the back yard. See that large brown area? Yep, that is the section I am talking about.
I immediately decided to do something about it. (Okay, full disclosure…it wasn’t immediately; but it was pretty quick.)
Well, the first thing I did was go out and buy a riding lawn mower. (Need I say more?) Then I began the work of slowly mowing down the brambles, cutting up fallen trees, and raking. I hate raking. Over the course of about a month I have been working on this project on my day off. I developed blisters, then calluses, then more blisters. It was hard work, and we are not done yet, but just this afternoon, I paused to take a picture of the progress. I think you can see that we are slowly reclaiming this field to a more useable condition. Here are some pictures of the progress.
My new mower!
Hey, I never said I did it alone!
Starting to look good!
A Spiritual Reality
My friend, far too often in my own life I become aware of areas which, through neglect, have become overgrown. I am keenly aware that these areas need tending to.
It may be an area of my daily walk with the Lord, or Bible reading, or prayer for others, or witnessing, or any number of other areas. When ground is not tended, it tends to become overgrown.
Here is the rub. It takes more work to reclaim a piece of ground than it does to tend it in the first place.
In the next post, I will talk about the some of the things we can do to reclaim an overgrown area of our lives. For today, I want to encourage you to take inventory of your life, and see if there are not any areas that you can identify as needing some attention.
If you are not sure where to start, then why not start with this simple prayer.
“Lord, I am coming to You because you know me better than I even know myself. There are some areas of my life that I have allowed to become overgrown. They are not as fertile as they once were. There may be other areas that I am not even aware of. Please expose these areas to me. Search my heart, and show me what I need to do. In Jesus name, amen.”
If you will do this, I promise that God will begin to reveal things to you about your life. He will show you areas of “fallow ground”. Make a list. Don’t trust to your memory. Write down the areas of you life that are in need of tending. Think of it like a spiritual to-do list. I know how much we all like those!
God is not finished with you yet. Perhaps some of what you are feeling is a result of your field being overgrown. Will you let God work on you? Are you willing to do the hard work necessary to break up that fallow ground? I pray that you will. Next time, we will talk about how to get started.