I love rocky road ice cream. I don't care for rocky roads however (especially on my motorcycle). Neither do I care for rocky soil.
I distinctly remember having to help pick up rocks on our PA farm when I was little and I didn't care for that either. We had beautiful limestone soil on the farm, though it was rocky in some places. It produced a bountiful garden (which I didn't enjoy having to help with at the time). Now I treasure those memories.
The house where we live now is only about 4 miles from the farm where I grew up, but the soil is completely different! I've had trouble for 20 years trying to grow ANYTHING on this property. Now I know why.
Recently we had to dig a trench around our house complete with tile so we won't have a flooded basement anymore....which of course meant uprooting all the flowers I had planted. After seeing what's below the surface where I've tried to grow gardens and flowers, I'm not sure I'll EVER re-plant anything now. About 6 inches below the soil (or less) is an unwelcome foundation of rock - as far as you can dig.
The scripture tells the story of a farmer who went out and planted seeds and though at first they appeared to be growing, they soon hit rocks and couldn't take root. It describes the rocks as problems and cares.
Have you ever felt like you had a seed from God in the form of a promise or a dream perhaps? You receive it and jump up and down because it's something really special and you know it will grow into something big. But not too long after that, your car breaks down, you experience alarming physical symptoms and end up at the doctor's office for the next few weeks with tests and bills following you home. Next thing you know, discouragement has taken hold, you're anxious about many things and you let go of the promise and the dream.
That's exactly what problems and cares do. They come to steal our dreams and promises. They come and test us. If we're not careful, we will begin to develop a heart that simply functions with no feelings. We enter survival mode. We try to plant beautiful things, only to find that they just don't grow and flourish. Underneath the hope we have are some rocks that won't let anything take root.
This describes me for the past month. I feel like I'm being challenged to take more steps of faith. I can't see the end result, but I feel the pull to let go and jump in with both feet. Car problems, illness, fear - it all amounts to one word. "Problems". They wear you down and steal your joy. So here's what I've been doing to help!
In the mornings when I read the Word of God, I have been writing down specific verses on a separate sheet of paper. Verses that speak to me and fill me with hope and faith. Then I take that piece of paper with me to my studio and put it on my keyboard where I can see it all day long. I look at them throughout the day and remind myself of them. I say them aloud and soak in all their meaning. They have a way of chipping away the rocks.
Problems and cares may keep coming - but I'm not going to let them steal my dreams. I wish the same for you! Get out that jack hammer (the Word) and start breaking away the rocks! Hold on to those promises!