"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop." — Luke 8:11-15 (NIV)
Last Friday I read Luke 8: 11-15. God kept me in verse 12 for two days. Specifically this part: "so that they may not believe and be saved." When God holds me in one place, I know he's revealing something to me, but this one was very subtle and definitely referred to my sweet hubby.
By Saturday, I understood that God was showing me what kind of "people" my guy was. He'd heard the Word as a child and a teenager, the seeds had been scattered on his path, but somewhere along the line, the enemy came and snatched them away.
What fascinates me is how the following verses describe four kinds of people. (Special thanks to my Life Application Bible for more understanding as well.)
Path people: Like my husband, these are the ones who never benefit from the seeds taking root. The seeds never had a chance to take root, because the enemy swooped in and plucked them up like a hungry bird devouring everything in sight.
Rock people: These are the people who whose seeds start to grow, but the trials of life uproot them. Since they never had a firm foundation of soil (commitment, trust and obedience), these seeds never had a chance to survive this kind of testing. The poor little guys have a brief burst of growth, and then the first wind or storm to come along takes them out.
Thorn patch people: The worries, riches and pleasures of the world choke out the seeds in these people. The seeds start to grow, but all those thorns steal the stuff they need to grow—sunlight, nutrients, oxygen. Without these necessary sustainers, life (joy, peace, faith) simply dies out.
Good soil people: These are the people who truly produce fruit. Their foundation of soil is fertile and ready. The seeds scattered here take deep root and keep producing over and over again. And because of that establishment (faith), they persevere through all weather conditions.
So in summary, you can look at it this way:
Path people—the enemy steals the seeds
Rock people—trials stunt or stop growth
Thorn patch people—stuck in the world
Good soil people—produces fruit
By Sunday I understood the why of what God showed me—how to pray for my husband. I could see his unbelief in a new light, and pray for any of those lingering seeds hidden in a nook or cranny to take root. That even snippets of Scripture would come back as evidence of God's presence and pursuit of him.
No matter how our loved ones got to where they are, we know we are to persevere in prayer. But sometimes knowing the cause can help us know how to fight and pray.
What kind of "person" is your unbelieving spouse or loved one? What kind of "person" are you?
Praying and believing,