What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man. — Ecclesiastes 3:9-13
My heritage includes many people who made tilling the soil their life’s work. From Switzerland and the Netherlands to Henderson and, finally, to where the Cherry Creek Reservoir is, working soil, whether for grain or grape, was the work of the Obrecht and Dransfeldt families. I believe this is where my ability to grow stuff came from. I’m not saying I have much of a ‘green thumb,’ but it really isn’t hard for me to get plants to grow. Maybe this is one reason that, when the Lord tills my soul’s soil, it sometimes doesn’t cause me too much concern. I know I will be fuller and richer than before.
For us to flourish, our souls need a good, deep turning now and then. My dad, who has forgotten more about farming than I’ll ever know, talks about how he’d plow the soil. “We’d go 8 or more inches deep, and bring up that dark soil, turning last years’ dried plants under,” he’s quick to say. This was all a plan to recycle the previous seasons’ withered plants into nutrients for the coming season. What a wonderful representation of how God does the same with our souls.
Perhaps there’s something God’s tilling in your soul. Whatever it is you’re going through in this season could be God getting those soul nutrients ready for the next season. If this resonates with you, consider focusing your prayers on that ‘thing.’ Pray it out with God and delve into the experiences you’ve been having. It’s important to understand the ‘weeds’ that are choking your soul, how those are dug up, and all the nutrition necessary for your walk. This process could help bring you to the place where you can say “God’s getting me ready for something.”
For today, consider visiting a garden (like the Denver Botanical Gardens), a park, or buying plants. Seeing a vibrant garden or park, having your hands in the earth, or tilling and planting, may help you understand how God works in us.
By Rich Obrecht