Prayer: Father, Thank You for sowing many seeds in us this past year. May they bring forth a great harvest in our lives and the lives of those we serve. Amen.

Scriptures: My Father is the gardener…I am the vine and you are the branches. John 15:1,5 
… you are God’s cultivated field. I Cor. 3:9 AMP

The last twelve months have been a year of plowing – of God uprooting and overturning our plans and what we have planted. The leading blade of the plow was Covid-19. Other blades included violent protests by both the far right and left political parties in our country. In February here in Texas, the “snowdemic” blade turned our plans and lives once again upside down.

The plow hit education hard. There has been NO business as usual in the schools. Education was turned upside down as all instruction went remote or completely shut down for some youth who had no supervision at home or were not connected to the world-wide web. Non-stop schedule changes and pivoting for most educators have become the norm with students and staff in and out of schools because of quarantining throughout the fall and winter.

One good thing about the plow is that it is used by the farmer or gardener just before seeding. God has planted many seeds in us this last year after the plowing – patience, grit, perseverance, creativity, flexibility, tolerance, appreciation, thankfulness and increased time with family. There has also been an outpouring of seeds of generosity, kindness, compassion, and concern for those suffering and oppressed. God has planted seeds of understanding in us that “We are not in control and He is.”

In varying degrees, we have all felt broken and soiled by all that has transpired this last year. Soil and brokenness are both needed for gardens and farms to bear fruit. It is imperative that we take our eyes off the plow, look for the hand of the Sower, and thank Him for the new seed. The following poem illustrates God’s heart and wisdom regarding what we have experienced.

Soiled and Broken

Breaking is an ending
yet at the same time a new beginning.
Don’t grieve about what happened or was lost in the past.
It is behind you,
not before you.
The soil does not weep and keep its eyes focused on the spade or plow
that tore into it and turned it upside down.
The soil does not keep its eyes on its upturned broken dirty self,
or the many lean and bountiful harvests of years past.

Instead, the soil looks forward to seeing the hand of the sower once again
and the new seed that is soon to be sown into it.
It looks forward to the new growth.
With anticipation it looks forward to the living water,
the spring rains,
that will soon quench its thirst.
It has a vision of the new fruits and grains it will help produce
to sustain and make strong the lives of those who are weak and weary.

Copyright Don Clark. Email

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