A few heads of our sprinkler system broke last summer which ended up killing parts of our grass. So as I am out in the grass with my rake trying to break up the hard ground the Lord reminds me of Mark 4. In Verses 1-20, Jesus tells the parable of the Sower. He says that the Lord is the Sower and His Word is the seed that is scattered. Each one of us has a different heart receptor condition to His Word; teachable, shallow, distracted or hard.
As I was raking, if you can call it that, I was thrusting the rake at the ground with all my might to get it to break. It was hard, exhausting but filled with hope of having grass return. I wondered what the rake is in my life. What does God use to break me?
In this parable, I am both the rake and the dirt. My kids (who are wonderful blessing from God, though it sure doesnt feel that way some days) are what God uses to rake me. To soften me, to break me to His purposes. Thier strong-willed hearts and what seems like a constant need for correction, training and discipline gets way too much for me to handle. I get to the end of myself. Worn. Exhausted. Somedays (especially within the last week or 2) I feel as though I am functioning solely on God's grace (His ability through me) and completely exhaust even that (though that is not possible, it sure feels like it). He steps in and provides grace upon grace. I am the dirt, my hard heart being held, molded. My boys, in the hands of my loving Father being used as tools to soften me.
I am also the rake. The tool God is using to bring about change in my boys hearts. To soften them. That they would become teachable, moldable in the hands of the Father. Equipped, ready for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). I am the tiller of the soil so they can recieve God's Word. It hurts, with sweat and tears involved. But God promises it will produce a fruit of righteousness later on (Heb. 12:11).
What hope! There is pain involved with being both the rake and the hard ground, but there is hope. God is active in softening my heart (if I yield to Him and not get more stubborn in demanding life my way an on my terms) and softening my boys hearts which will produce eternal fruit and bring glory to God.
What about you? Are you the rake or the dirt? And if the dirt, are you receptive to what God is doing in your life, distracted, hard or shallow? How are you responding to the things He is allowing in your life? Yielding to Him and relying upon His grace or demanding life be different and on your terms? Why not break up the fallow ground (Jer. 4:3) Meaning, be no longer unproductive but repentant. Like John the Baptist said, "Repent! Bear fruits worthy of repentance." (Mt 3:1-12)