I love growing strawberries!! I genuinely do. I have a pretty big back yard patch of them…and love when the beginning of June comes around. There’s not too much that beats a fresh, home grown, sweet strawberry picked at exactly the right time. And I’m talking fresh…just off of the plant and a sweet red color all the way through the strawberry. Mmmmmm….I could go on and on…But, I must say, they are a TON of work! They need to have a certain pH in the soil to grow, need fertilized, weeded, covered in the winter, uncovered in the spring, runners need planted and cut…although I tend to think they’re a little more, let’s say, high maintenance, lol.
I’ve spent hours out in our patch the past few weeks, trying to get the plants ready for harvest season. Normally, each fall we go out and help the young “runners” [new strawberry plants that are growing from their mother plant] get planted in a healthy area. We take bobbi-pins and secure/plant their baby roots in the soil…but this year, I didn’t make it out there and many of our runners planted themselves, wherever they wanted.
So, why is that a big deal you may be asking?! Well, I have black landscaping fabric down in between the rows in our patch…and that seems to be where most of the baby plants planted. They’re alive, have green leaves and actually some of them have a few flowers. Awesome, right?! Yes and no…
You see, those brand new strawberry plants are now fighting to get their roots through black mesh to get to the soil. The very tips of their roots have found the soil and it’s been enough to survive for a season. But in order for them to grow and thrive and actually produce fruit, they’re going to need to be planted somewhere else. Fully uprooted and replanted in real, healthy soil where there’s nothing standing in-between it and it’s roots digging down deep.
I love that planting each spring reminds me so much of scripture. And the strawberry patch in particular reminds me so much of a parable Jesus told to a crowd of people…
“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
Jesus is teaching here that we are the seed…and there are 4 types of soil His Word can fall on in your life:
1. Hard soil where you can’t grow at all.
2. Shallow soil, where you can grow quickly but then die because you don’t have deep roots.
3. Thorny soil, where you can be choked out.
4. Fertile soil, where you can thrive and produce much fruit.
Just like my rogue baby strawberry plants just planting themselves wherever they wanted…MOST of them are not going to make it to full fruit bearing maturity because of where they planted themselves. Jesus says the exact same thing here in Matthew 13. And our response should be…which soil are our hearts? When God’s Word is spoken or He is trying to teach you something, what’s going to happen to it? Is it doing to die right away, grow a little bit and then die because it doesn’t have deep roots, will it be choked out by sharp/hard things around it or is it going to land in fertile, healthy soil where it will THRIVE and PRODUCE BEAUTIFUL, SWEET FRUIT?!
We should always want God’s Word to land in our hearts in fertile soil. Soil that is rich in nutrients and ready to receive. Ready to grow deep roots and produce beautiful fruit that can change other people’s lives, just like that fresh amazing strawberry picked straight from the patch!!!
Let it be said of us: that we “produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted”!!!!