He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, yet the farmer does not know how. The earth produces by itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once the farmer goes in with a sickle, because the harvest has come (Mark 4: 26-29).”
How does this parable explain God’s kingdom? And what does it have to do with being rooted? Aside from the obvious—that seeds have to sprout roots in order to grow into plants—I read this parable as a metaphor for spiritual growth. The thing is, in this particular parable it isn’t the seed or the farmer that’s important. The farmer just scatters some seeds, waits a while, and then harvests a crop! And the seed doesn’t do anything exciting on its own either. The seed just sits there and eventually transforms into something useful. But it is the earth that causes the growth in the seed. The earth represents God’s kingdom. The earth represents what the Holy Spirit is doing in your life: how God is transforming you!
This transformation process is never obvious. Just like a seed buried in the ground, spiritual growth and transformation happen inside and out of sight. Like Jesus says in verse 28, all by itself the soil produces the grain little by little. That’s how God transforms us: little by little. Sometimes it feels like absolutely nothing is happening!
But here’s the thing: the seed won’t grow if the farmer keeps digging it up to see how it’s coming along. Instead, the farmer has to trust that the little seed is sprouting roots and developing a stalk and leaves and grain. But then the farmer still has to wait for it to ripen before it can be harvested! It is a process. So if you’re feeling like not much has changed in your life lately, that’s okay. Don’t give up; maybe you’re in that stage where you’re just sitting in the dark, like a seed buried in the ground. That’s okay. That’s where it all has to begin. Stick with it and let the Holy Spirit do her thing.
Oh, and it won’t help to dig things up from the past, to check on your progress or see how spiritually mature you’ve become! It takes time for roots to develop, and it will take time for you to grow deep spiritual roots. But since you are planted in God’s garden, you are enveloped in Christ! Trust that God is at work in you, strengthening your roots and helping you to grow.
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