October 19 – Hebrews 6:7-8. Drink in the Rain.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 19 – Hebrews 6:7-8.  Drink in the Rain.

Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

Authors often use metaphors that the community will understand to describe them.  Obviously the readers of this letter are farmers.  They understand the difference between useful ground and thorny ground.  They understand that their open hearts are like land that drinks in the rain.

When we were little, we would come to the cabin for several weeks in the summer.  There was a neighboring farmer who put his cattle on our land while we were gone and then would pull them out for the weeks we were here.  The cattle would forage our meadows and hillside keeping the grass and weeds short.  Other than avoiding cowpies here and there, that made it really nice for traveling through the hills and walking to the river.  However, the cows completely avoided thistles and Dad wasn’t too fond of having them fill the meadow, so in his wisdom, he dealt with three possibly bored children and paid us a nickel per thistle to pull them out of the ground.  We couldn’t cut them out, we had to make sure we pulled them up by the roots.  A few dollars out of his pocked cleared the meadow every summer.

The other bush that we had to deal with was a gooseberry bush.  Those thorns hurt – every time we tried to gather the berries.  As much as I loved gooseberry jam, I didn’t love fighting the bush for purply berries.  It was more of a fight than I ever wanted.

I watch crops go in and come out here in Iowa on land that farmers tend with a lot of loving care.  Rich, black dirt supports fantastic corn and bean crops.  When it rains, the land drinks the water in to help them grow.

Iowa corn and beans feed the world because of the attention that the land receives from its caretakers.  Thistles are bad for livestock and the ground and have to be pulled out of the ground and burned.  Gooseberries might be a wonderful tasting berry, but the thorns make them nearly impossible to enjoy.

Take care of your hearts so that they are thirsty for living water.