Matt swiped his forehead with a dirty arm. His knees, arms, and hands were covered in dirt. He’d had fun helping his dad plant their garden for a few hours, but now he was hot and sticky. “Dad, I’m bored.”
His dad straightened. “We have been working hard. Let’s take a break.”
They sat down under a nearby tree. Matt’s dad waved at the garden. “Jesus told a parable about planting seeds.”
“He did?” Matt leaned closer. He liked when his dad told him Bible stories.
“Yes. The story is about a sower. Back then, they tossed the seeds on the ground to plant them.” Matt’s dad waved his hand as if he was scattering a handful of seeds on the ground. “This sower threw his seeds on the ground. Some of the seeds landed on hard-packed dirt. The birds came and ate them before the seeds could grow.”
Matt thought about the rows he and his dad had been walking on that morning. They were packed down and too hard for seeds. “That’s why we plant in soft ground.”
His dad nodded. “Some of the seeds fell onto ground that was filled with stones. The seeds grew, but they died before they became big plants because they did not have enough dirt for their roots.”
“Is that why you had me pick up all the stones from our garden? Because our plants wouldn’t grow?” Matt pointed at the pile they had built from the stones they’d pulled from the garden.
His dad nodded again. “A few of the seeds fell onto ground that had lots of thorns and weeds. The weeds wouldn’t let the plants grow, and they died.”
Matt remembered helping his dad weed their garden last summer. It had been a lot of work in the hot sun. But their corn had grown nice and tall by the end of summer.
“Finally, some of the seeds landed on good soil. These seeds grew into big plants.” His dad pointed at Matt’s chest. “In Jesus’ parable, the different kinds of grounds are different kinds of hearts. God’s people are the ones who have good soil as their hearts. The seed of God’s word grows in their hearts. Who makes our hearts good soil?”
Matt thought about it for a moment. “God does.”
“That’s right.” His dad smiled at him. “God makes our heart good soil. He is the one who takes out the rocks and the weeds and turns our hard-packed hearts into soft ground. He plants the seed and makes it grow.” Matt’s dad patted him on the shoulder. “Time to get back to work.”
Matt picked up a handful of seeds and began to place the seeds in the soft soil of their garden.
Just for Fun:
Draw a picture of each of the four kinds of soils. How does God work in your heart to make your heart soft ground?