Mark 4:8 (NKJV)
“But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
Have you ever had to work hard to prepare for something that was coming up? Maybe this was your chance to be the starter for your team or finally your turn to take center stage? How about putting the finishing touches on the project you spent two months working on?
If you have been through any of the situations above, then you may have been nervous when it was time for that big moment. Some of us may not be nervous at all, but it depends on how prepared we were. When you take the time to be ready for that chance it may not be as scary. However, till it is time for us to actually begin we often don’t know if we are prepared enough.
I have been part of teams that spent hours practicing to refine every aspect of our game till we were like a well-oiled machine. Then when game day came, we found out that we were not as prepared as we thought we were. I have also been part of that special moment when sweat and hard work brought us through the struggle on top.
When you are competing as part of a team you can have another player or coach there to motivate you and push you farther. Sometimes there are bonds that form which are stronger together than the individual parts but these bonds don’t always last. Being part of the team that wins that hard fought game or the championship after a long season can be an unforgettable experience.
But what if you are the coach, the team leader, or have to perform alone then who do you turn to push you that little extra you need. Maybe you are not on a team and just trying to make it through your day. Everyday adversity can feel the same way if we are the one that has the brunt of the responsibility to succeed in our employment, at school, or for our family.
Unless you play sports as your career, then there are far more circumstances in real life that require the same perseverance to be successful. When you are having a frustrating day at work and you are so worn down that you are not sure if you can make it through the last hour. You show up at the hardest class you have for the semester unprepared to be greeted with a surprise quiz. Even just sitting at home and suddenly you are being looked to for answers but not sure what you should do next.
Throughout my life I have been through all these situations, but I still feel I would not be qualified to give any personal recommendations on how to survive to fight another day. I have found that I have solicited or even given advice but most times the information doesn’t quite solve the situation because each person and circumstance is different and may require a different approach. Recently I heard someone commenting on a self-help program where the material was very author focused and did nothing to address their issues.
So, where do you go to find strength and guidance for life’s struggles? For years I was like most people and suffered in silence or consulted whatever source that offered a remedy. I had shelves full of books and even some videos that offered the next fix for whatever problem that could be faced. I was supposed to be able to find the job of my dreams in ten days, get my degree in three easy steps, and solve every family crisis with practical advice from the latest expert. In the end I donated my time and money to someone else and never really found all the answers that I was expecting.
With all the time I spent looking to a new place to get the information I was searching for I kept overlooking the book I had for years that was collecting dust in the drawer of my nightstand. My Bible was there waiting patiently for whenever I would open it for a day, a week, or even longer till it was laid aside again. It was not till I turned back to Christ that I was able to find what I was looking for to make positive changes I needed. Even though God’s word was written centuries ago it is still practical for things we may encounter every day.
Finding comfort when I am hurting, serenity when I am angry, encouragement when I am disheartened, and strength when I am weak. I had to become the good ground in Mark 4:8 and 20, free from the distraction and excuses that I used over the years. Mark 4:20, “But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
Each scripture that provided guidance was another seed planted that when properly tended could yield the fruit that is promised. Truly finding happiness in whatever job you work, being prepared for any class, or that stable voice for the family. This is what I found, but I had to accept these truths and faithfully tend the field of my heart to receive His gifts into my life.
It is still easy to get off track, but God’s love and His word never changes. Galatians 6:7-9 is a reminder of how we should tend our field, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
Be ready to go out onto that field of life armed with the eternal answers of God’s word. Join me in being prepared to walk out to the center of that field knowing that God is with us because He is our strength in every battle that we face. Now also please enjoy the final part of “The Arena.”
THE ARENA (PART IV)
Yes Lord, I can see that a way out of the darkness has begun to open,
And as the noise recedes I finally hear all the promises you have spoken.
I know in my heart that with each step there is solid ground I’ll find,
Strength from your love brings confidence removing doubt from my mind.
I pray I can remain strong on your path when there are obstacles I face,
Not taking the one of least resistance the world wants me to chase.
My child, you have found solace in the blessings you have received,
You must continue to walk beside me so you will not be deceived.
I will always be there with you no matter into which port you sail,
To protect you on your journey because my love will never fail.
With each new victory you will see that your weariness will reduce,
You will soon be soaring up so high from the joy it does produce.
I have prepared a field before you that will give you what you need,
Your faith is what will water the land and my word is the planted seed.
By accepting my unending love you receive abundance beyond reason,
Fore you will reap what you have sown during this fruitful season.
Simple Faith Christian