Being receptive to what God says to you

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The drought conditions this year have been so bad that some I know who planted thousands of acres of corn are only receiving a return of a handful of ears. To add insult to injury, the handful that grew tasted terrible. The only option they have is to plow over the fields. It was just a few months ago that the same farmer was enthusiastic about planting and hopeful for his return. I guess that comes with the territory.

Jesus tells the story that is found in three of the four Gospels. It is the story of a sower who went out to sow his seed. As he goes he drops the seed, which fell on all sorts of soil. The hardened path where the seed could not penetrate, the birds snatched it away. Rocky ground where the seed grew quickly but then died out for lack of root. Ground composed of thorns that choked out the plant. Then some fell on good soil, prepared soil. Soil where the plant could grow and produce fruit.

Notice how the seed is spread indiscriminately. As this sower is going he spreads the seed. He doesn't target. He doesn't use satellite imagery to determine boundaries of soil types. He goes out and drops the seed.

In Jesus explanation of this parable he says that the seed is the word of God and the soil represents people. The seemingly random spreading of the seed by the sower reminds us that God is trying to get your attention. He is not trying to hide. He is actively revealing himself.

For months she dropped hints about what she wanted for her birthday. "Honey, I would really like this purse, she said, showing him the catalog. He found pictures of the purse on his pillow, taped to the mirror when shaving, even on the dashboard of his car. She wrote him an email, "Here is the link to where you can buy the purse that I want for my birthday."

When her birthday finally came she awoke, stumbled to the kitchen and there on the table was a neatly wrapped box in her favorite color. So excited she immediately unwrapped the package to reveal a blender.

What went wrong? The message was clear, but the heart wasn't receptive.

God wants to get your attention, to hear his voice. Are we receptive to what he is saying?

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at

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