We all can find a pot and time to put seeds in the soil, water those seeds, and watch a miracle take place in front of us.
Published on: 05-01-2019
In a world in which many of us no longer work with soil, is it possible that we are missing out on lessons that God can teach us only by getting our hands dirty? Where once most people were farmers, today that experience is becoming a distant memory. This is the result of progress, but has it made life better?
The Bible became more real to me when I started to grow food. So many of Jesus’ parables and lessons were built on His listeners having a solid grasp of agriculture and growing food. May it be somewhat futile to think we can understand what Jesus is saying without having a grasp of the symbols He uses? That was my experience.
Here is an example. I assumed character development was something that should happen quickly. Why weren’t more people growing at the same rate I was? Well, once we start to grow multiple plants of differing varieties, we quickly see that plant A may grow a lot faster than plant B, and there is nothing one can do to hurry its growth.
The wise man Solomon wrote, “The king himself profits from the fields” (Eccl. 5:9, NIV). Even kings are blessed by the fruit of the ground. Isaiah summarizes the learning experience for those who get their hands in the soil: “For he is rightly instructed; his God teaches him” (Isa. 28:26, ESV).1
Why is Scripture riddled with so many lessons taught from the simple act of planting a seed and watching it grow? Could it be that God still wants to teach spiritual lessons that we can learn only from the lesson book of nature?
Ellen White underlines this in her amazing book, Education: “Let the teacher call attention to what the Bible says about agriculture: that it was God’s plan for [humanity] to till the earth; that the first man, the ruler of the whole world, was given a garden to cultivate; and that many of the world’s greatest [men and women], its real nobility, have been tillers of the soil. Show the opportunities in such a life.”2
As countercultural as it sounds, there are still valid reasons to find a way to keep growing something. Even if it’s not a full farm or garden, we all can find a pot, take some time to put seeds in the soil, water those seeds, and watch a miracle take place in front of us.
I believe, from personal experience growing a variety of produce, that there are countless lessons to be learned through the simple act of growing plants. The soil still holds treasure for those who dig for it.