"But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” " Matthew 13:8-9
Today is a day that I've long anticipated. It's the day that I pull out the seed starting supplies and get the very first round of seeds started in the soil. It's almost like Christmas for me, I'm that excited to start working with seeds and soil, and watching the magic unfold before my very eyes.
But since November, I've been spending time going through my Bible looking for scripture verses that I could speak to my plants. Two years ago, if you'll remember, I performed an experiment where I blessed some tomato plants daily, while I simply tended a third one with no blessings. The blessed plants grew to an amazing height and were abundant in fruit, while the non-blessed plant grew, but there was a very, very noticeable difference between him and his brothers. Last year, I was so caught up in the urgency to plant that I didn't really start blessing my plants and my garden until it was too late. In the end, the tomatoes put forth an excellent effort at the end of the growing season, but it was too little, too late. So this year, I was determined to find the right verses to speak aloud to my plants.
But I hadn't been finding the right ones. Ideally, I wanted some words that Jesus spoke that would basically command the plants to grow and to grow well, but I just wasn't seeing the words on the paper that I wanted.
At the same time, over the last little while, I've also been reading a fictional series of books where people have the ability to read characters out of a book. When they read aloud a story, the characters they are reading about pop to life in their world. Completely fictional and completely fun, and yet, God's been using it to speak to me about the importance of speaking aloud the Word. Just as in these fictional works, speaking aloud brought the books to life, in the real world, speaking aloud the words found in the Bible brings those very words to life. I've been thinking also that it's not just about sitting and speaking aloud the scripture verses, but that there needs to be more to it. More reverence, more understanding that when I speak the words of Jesus, it's not actually me speaking, but Jesus inside of me.
God gives us the answers in some of the strangest places- and yes, I believe He drew my eye towards this series of fictional books for the purpose of speaking to me through it. But then last night, I was talking to Andy about starting my onion seeds today, and I mentioned to him that I still hadn't found the right verses to read aloud to my plants, when the verse I posted above literally dropped into my head. It was awesome. Of course, it was right there in the parable of the sower, which I'd read dozens of times thinking I might be able to use something from within. I smiled myself to sleep, thinking about how I'd look that verse up in the morning and see if it would suit my needs.
Of course it does. And later today, after a bit of preparation, I get to put these words into action. I'm excited about it, but I'm even more excited to really think on all this and think about how God has been speaking to me. He's used fiction to speak to me before, but most often, it's Christian fiction that has a scripture or two in it anyway or has an obvious message to share. This is definitely not a Christian work of fiction, and God used it all the same. And I especially love how He just dropped that verse into my head last night. That tells me that I have been spending time in my Bible, taking the words in so that at the right moment when I need them, the Holy Spirit will bring them to my recollection. And that encourages me to keep digging in and take as much in as I can.
Answers can come from some pretty unusual places, but I think as long as we are open, and are constantly turning our thoughts towards Him, that He will use anything to speak to us. A movie, a TV show, a book, a person, a play in a theatre, God can use anything, and He will, if only we are willing to receive the message.