Throughout the yard the snowbanks abound. Heavy snows have left their mark and the garden is buried in depths of white. My greenhouse stands idle, waiting for the day when it will serve to help my plants come to life. It is the first day of spring today but it doesn’t much feel like it. We are a long way off from any kind of greenery and new life.
Being a gardener, though, I am thinking spring and what I will plant. My seeds are laid out and ready for the days when they will be put in my potting trays and nurtured so they can be planted outdoors at a later date. I must choose what I plant wisely, paying close attention to plants that need more greenhouse time. I keep track of their progress; each year learning more and more about what breeds success for individual varieties.
It always amazes me how these tiny seeds I sow grow into a plethora of plants that produce food for us throughout the year. But they don’t just grow on their own – they need appropriate soil conditions, adequate moisture, and correct amounts of sunlight to thrive. Planting takes careful planning so that some plants don’t overshadow others.
The Book of Hosea talks about another kind of planting – “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it it time to seek the Lord.” (chp. 10 NIV)
For seeds to be planted successfully they need to be put into ground that has been carefully prepared. Seeds don’t grow well in hard ground but they can thrive in soft, moist soil.
But of course Hosea is not speaking of literal planting in the fields. He is giving us an image to help us understand our spiritual life. In order to sow righteousness, the field needs to be prepared. Is your life ready for God to work in it? Have you dealt with the “unplowed” ground by confessing sin and receiving both God’s forgiveness and His guidance?
God is asking us to be productive and repentant. No matter what is going on in life, God can make the seeds of salvation grow. We might think it is still winter with all its snow and bleakness. But God brings us into spring with new life and His amazing forgiveness if we open up our heats to Him.
Just as I carefully select plants to sow that will bring the desired results I require, so God is asking us to sow seeds in our lives that will bring about good fruit. He is telling us that if we sow righteousness that we will reap His unfailing love. What a harvest! It really makes me think about what kinds of seeds I am sowing in my life right now. I know some seed has not been well chosen.
Just like last year’s garden is in the past, so are my past sins and poor choices. It is spring and as my garden has amazing potential to do great things this year, so does my spiritual life. It really comes down to where I sow my seeds in life and what kinds I choose. I know I want to be a productive and fruitful Christian. Maybe it’s time to lay out my spiritual life in the same way I do my garden seeds, prioritizing and choosing only the best to plant.