I have been busy attacking our lawn with grass seed this spring – my annual battle against ever-present bald spots.

It makes me think about the amazing power of little seeds and the resistance of certain types of ground.

Jesus spoke about this, too, in his well-known story of the seed-sower throwing seed on different kinds of ground (Luke 13:3-23).  He was making a point: the word of God will bear fruit in some lives and not in others.

But it strikes me you can’t rule out the power of God’s word working in the lives of people who seem opposed to the things of God. God can do the impossible in our eyes.

I am astonished at how plants and trees can grow in rocky clefts.  There is a pine tree growing in what looks like sheer Canadian Pre-Cambrian shield rock in our back yard.  There is a slight crack in the rock and a seed found just enough dirt there to grow.

In the same way, there are many people over the ages who seemed impervious to the word of God and yet surrendered their lives to him.

One such man was Augustine, a North African who became one of the greatest Christian leaders and authors.  If I had known Augustine as a young man, I would not have believed he would become a believer.

He was a brilliant philosopher and speaker whose aim was to win fame in the Roman Empire in the fourth century A.D.  He was a self-centred young man, able to defeat opponents easily in debate.

But the Spirit of God was working in his heart.  And he began exploring the Christian faith, the faith of his mother Monica.  His mother had been praying for him for years and yet he had rejected her beliefs.

He was sitting in a garden with the scriptures in his hand when he heard a child’s voice call out: “Take up and read!”  He read a passage in the book of Romans and gave his life to God.

God infused life into tiny seeds so that they grow when watered in soil.  Similarly, God infused life through his Spirit into the words of scripture so that they take root in our hearts and minds.

Jesus’ story of the farmer and the seed in Matthew 13 is correct – the ground may not be right in many people’s lives to accept God’s word.  But we, as believers, cannot make that judgement.

We may be surprised to find that the rocky ground in a loved one’s heart is ready to accept the seed of God’s word and flourish.


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