Friday, April 26, 2013

How Is Our Soil?

"What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it?" (Isaiah 5:4).

With the deepest sorrow possible, God finally had to let Israel have its way. He finally lets us have our own way, too. Surely He weeps as He admits there is nothing more He can do for us, for He has tried everything to soften our hearts. Our stubborn will circumscribes His perfect will for us.

As God deplores the state of our vineyard, how many times have we earthly parents lamented the vine­yards of our children? What more could we have done to save them from themselves? We plant, nurture, admonish, hope, and dream, but still they do not meet our expectations. When our child is lost physically or spiritually, we grieve and weep, as does our Lord. But we can do no more for those who wish to go their own way, just as God must let us go our way, for He has given us free will.

God graced Israel with every blessing necessary for full fruition. What strikes us is the lack of gratitude. God's tender tendencies seem lost on His chosen. He didn't plant this vineyard for personal gain. It was to be His and their garden of delights. His deep feelings for His people are expressed all through the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, especially in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Hosea. And yet the vineyard--ours, too--grows weeds of disgrace!

"How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees on it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land" (Numbers 13:20). How do we bring back the fruit of God's precious land? What is it? "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22,23).

Today, let us enrich the soil of our hearts and minds with gratitude for God's daily blessings. It is so easy to forget them in our worldly pursuits. As for personal thanksgiving, I thank God every morning upon waking for our beloved sons and daughters and grandchildren! As happened with Job, our latter years are even more blessed!

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