“I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’” Hosea 10:12 (NLT)
The weather here has finally warmed enough for the farmers to get in their fields to plant. Tractors are running, dust is flying, seed is being sown. It seems like the landscape has changed almost overnight.
But not every farmer has been able to get their planting done. Some are still getting fields ready, some are still discing, some are still spraying. You see, there are many steps that need to come BEFORE the planting can take place. Just because the weather is warm, doesn’t mean the soil is ready.
My son-in-law is a farmer and he was telling me about a term they use for hard soil – compaction. This results from tractors or trucks or other machinery going over dry ground repeatedly. The longer the time, the heavier the machinery, the more compaction occurs. The more compaction of the soil, the more difficult it is to plant and the less the yield.
Hard soil – a problem for farmers and a problem for some people. Soil doesn’t usually start out hard. It becomes hard through seasons and circumstances. It can be that way with the hearts of people. A heart that starts out soft and open, seeking the good in others, believing that there is always hope, can become “compacted” through a long season of neglect or a heavy load of circumstances. The enemy can sneak in and tell lies, confusing and deceiving, until that heart can no longer tell right from wrong, can no longer see the good in a situation, can no longer hear the truth.
What can we do with this compacted heart? How can it be made soft again? How can it be plowed so that it becomes soft and pliant, ready to be planted with words of truth? Through your prayers.
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:15-16
A hard heart can be a tough heart, but nothing is impossible for God. When you pray for your dad or your mom, the Lord hears and goes to work, breaking up that compacted ground so that the seed of truth can be sown there. It doesn’t happen all at once. And you may not see anything happening at all. But that doesn’t mean that God isn’t working.
Just as not all soil requires the same kind of treatment or the same length of time to make it ready for planting, each compacted heart is different depending on the length of time, the circumstances that caused the compaction, the faithfulness of those who pray for it. It’s not up to us to decide how or when the planting takes place. It’s just up to us to pray.
Getting the soil ready is one of the most important steps in farming. Without the proper soil conditions, the seed that’s been planted will not grow. God is ready to plant that seed of truth in the compacted heart of your mom or your dad. He needs your help, your prayers, to get the soil ready. Will you step up and do that for your mom or your dad? Will you be the prayer warrior they need to plow up the hard ground of their hearts? Will you help prepare the soil so you can harvest a restored and resurrected family? Your prayers DO matter!
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 (NLT)
A Stander in Nebraska