I love beautiful gardens. Even though I don’t naturally have a green thumb, I keep trying to learn what it takes to grow healthy plants.
When I lived in California, the soil was very rich. When I wanted to transplant geraniums from the back yard to the front yard, a friend told me, “Just pull it up and put it where you want it. Don’t even worry about getting the roots. It will grow.” She was right. It did grow. That would never work where I live in Texas. The soil is not the same.
Professional gardeners say plants rely on good soil for their fruitfulness. All agreed good soil needs these three things:
- Air. Gardeners recommend adding what is necessary to open up a poor soil so that it can breathe.
- Water. Good soil needs to be able to retain moisture. Water runs off heavy soil and goes straight through a soil that is too porous.
- Fertile. Good soil is deep and rich. For good plant growth, soil needs to have a good food supply of minerals and nutrients to keep alive microorganisms, insects and other ingredients that create rich soil. The addition of peat moss, compost or other organic matter is sometimes necessary to make that happen.
When a soil is rich and fertile, it is also good for those around it. Scientists have discovered that breathing certain kinds of soil bacteria can reduce anxiety.
In Jesus’ parable of the sower, only the seed sown on good ground bore fruit. There was nothing wrong with the sower or the seed. It was what received the seed that made the difference.
We receive the seed – the word of God – and in so doing, choose which type of soil we will be. If we choose to be good soil, we need to keep the breath of God active. Through His Spirit, we bear His fruit. Our soil should be the type that will retain the Living Water as He comes into contact with us and thirst for more of His presence every second of every day. The disciplines of a holy life – prayer, worship, loving God’s word, loving the body of Christ and witnessing – will keep our soil deep and rich. Then we will not only bear fruit, but our very presence will be beneficial to others.
“But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces; some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matthew 13: 23).