• Pastoral Staff

A lesson from the wheat harvest

Wheat harvest is over. Now the farmers are working their ground getting it ready to plant next year’s wheat crop. In Hosea 10:12 it says:

Sow for yourselves righteousness;

Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground,

For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.”

This verse reminds me of my dad getting ready to plant his wheat crop each year. We had two hundred acres of dry land fields in northwest Kansas. Dad would plant about one hundred acres of wheat and let the other hundred acres lie fallow, or unplanted. The idea was to let half of the ground rest each year so it wouldn’t be depleted from growing wheat year after year. We worked the ground a few times during the spring and summer to kill the weeds and let the decaying plants enrich the soil.

Dad noticed that the yields were steadily decreasing and he went to the county extension agent to get some advice. The agent asked Dad to tell him how he prepared the ground to be planted each year. Dad explained that he used a one-way disc. The agent asked if Dad used the same disc each year and when Dad admitted that he did the agent told him that was the problem. By using the same disc each year and breaking up the ground to the same level each year, Dad had created a layer of hard soil that restricted the nutrients available to the wheat plants. The solution was for Dad to us a plow to break up the soil deeper and break the hard pan to allow the wheat to access all the nutrients available to them.

The same kind of restriction can happen in our Christian life. If we do the same things over and over and do not seek to go deeper in our relationship with Christ, then our spirits cannot access all the spiritual nutrients that God has available for us. We find our spiritual harvests decreasing and we lose our joy. “Break up your fallow ground”. Get rid of the weeds that are robbing your soul of spiritual nutrients. Those weed could be habits or hobbies that consume too much of our time that should be spent on cultivating our relationship with Christ and our relationships with others. Maybe the weeds are practices that at one time were beneficial for us but have served their purpose and we need to move on from them; as Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:11, putting away childish/selfish things.

When we have broken up our fallow ground, the verse in Hosea tells us it is important to “seek the Lord”. We do that by spending time reading the Bible and spending time in prayer listening to what new things God might want to do in your life or new things He wants you to do in the lives of others. Hosea tells us we should “seek the Lord till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” The old timers used to talk about “praying through” which meant spending time in the presence of God until you knew you had connected with God and He gave you clear direction on a matter. That is when you truly know you have the “rightness” that God has in mind for you.

Where I grew up, we didn’t get much rain but when we did, it was greatly appreciated, even if the rain interrupted harvest. The rain gave needed moisture to the ground and to the grass and to the crops. The rain also refreshed the air. In the same way, spending time in prayer and truly connecting with God waters our souls and refreshes our spirits. This week, I challenge you to:

Sow for yourselves righteousness;

Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground,

For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.”

-Pastor Ken

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"Jesus replied, '"Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself."'" Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)

"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Acts 2:42 (NIV)


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