Jesus said, “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” Matthew 13:18-23
Good relationships take a long time to build and they need care and tending to maintain. In an instant, a selfish person or someone in a hurry can ruin a good working relationship with an off-handed comment or simple impatience. Healthy ministries can die on the vine just as easily and programs can be ruined when someone puts their own agenda and timing first. Love takes time as do growing things, and each person and ministry deserves all the time and care it might take.
Jesus tries to explain to his followers what it takes to have a healthy faith by using the image of the sower. Not everything we plan will take hold, and sometimes the conditions are right for flourishing. The ones that do will need good soil, tender care and enduring patience. We can sow and God will provide the abundant yield, if we will put love first.
Today I ask God to give me the strength to be a patience and tender gardener. May we build good soil in loving relationships, so that God's love and mercy can shine through each and every one of us today.