Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Numbers 5-6; Mark 4:1-20
4 Jesus began to teach beside the lake again. Such a large crowd gathered that he climbed into a boat there on the lake. He sat in the boat while the whole crowd was nearby on the shore. 2 He said many things to them in parables. While teaching them, he said, 3 “Listen to this! A farmer went out to scatter seed. 4 As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path; and the birds came and ate it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground where the soil was shallow. They sprouted immediately because the soil wasn’t deep. 6 When the sun came up, it scorched the plants; and they dried up because they had no roots. 7 Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorny plants grew and choked the seeds, and they produced nothing. 8 Other seed fell into good soil and bore fruit. Upon growing and increasing, the seed produced in one case a yield of thirty to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of one hundred to one.” 9 He said, “Whoever has ears to listen should pay attention!”
There used to be a Boy Scout camp outside of San Marcos Texas. It was called El Rancho Cima. When I was a kid I went there many times. Some of the patches and pictures of the place had a lone hill with a single tree on top of the hill. They used those pictures for advertising. The hill is called “Sentinel Peak.” Some years back, the tree died.
They had all their advertising built around those pictures of the peak with the single tree on top. Now they had a peak with a dead tree on top. They decided to remove the dead tree and plant a new one. That might have been a good thing to do if the peak were made of all dirt, but the Texas Hill Country has a lot of rock, limestone. It isn’t really something very easy to dig through. I don’t know if they were ever successful in planting the tree and the Scouts don’t own the camp anymore.
What I do know is, I would never have tried to plant a new tree there at all. I am far from being a botanist and I have no green thumbs. I do know enough about trying to grow plants in different types of soil to know what Jesus is talking about. It is a great deal easier to get a tree to grow in the black dirt of the Texas Gulf coast or in the red dirt of the East Texas piney woods than it would be to get the same tree (any kind of tree) to grow on the granite of Enchanted Rock. The first is fertile soil that water can easily penetrate. The other, well granite is not going to absorb much water and the tree is going to have a much more difficulty time.
The tree probably isn’t going to have a great deal of success having its roots penetrate the rock. It may penetrate a crack in the rock but it is looking for soil easier to penetrate. The roots may look spread out on the ground, growing out and trying to find soil. There just isn’t much in the granite of use to the tree.
We all go through difficult times in life, the hard times that leave us wanting for something more. Look for the good dirt. The good dirt is where we will find the nourishment and the water we need to see us through. It isn’t always easy to find that dirt but just as God can get a tree to grow on rock, God can get us through the rocky times in our lives. We might even grow on the rock and we are much stronger and more prepared when we make it to fertile soil.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved