Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Yields of Rich Soil

I'm in the final stages of my God-sized dream coming to fruition (see the countdown ticker at right!) which could easily take up every moment of every day if I let it.
Yet with the realization of this dream has come a roller coaster of emotion.
I'm ecstatic.
I'm hopeful.
I'm grateful to be sure.
But if I'm being honest, most of me is scared. out. of. my. wits.
I recall feeling this way at the start of the journey, when the road ahead seemed long and arduous, me unsure of how to navigate it successfully.
Questions and doubts now assail me daily.

"How will I get the word out?"
"Who will want it?"
"How can I get it to reach as many people as possible?"

And truthfully, in that small, scared little girl who continues to reside in me, the questions, "Will they like it?  Will they like me?" tug at my core.
So what did I do last Saturday? 
I prayed.
Prayed hard.  
And prayed like the densest person to ever walk the planet!

"God, I think this is the right thing.  I think I've done the best I can do with the dream you placed in my heart.  Now it's Your turn.  Can you PLEASE send Your Word my way, so I know that it's right...that it's Your will...that it's Your Spirit shining through? That you'll continue to lead me, making a way in the path ahead? Oh, and by the way, You're gonna hafta SHOUT IT at me because I'm a mess!!!!"

And SHOUT He did!

Do you see the common thread in Branching Out in Faith
this amazing God-planted dream?
Gathering seeds.
Planting seeds.
Seeds of faith.
Seeds growing & flourishing.
I love the imagery so much.  And it all started with that gorgeous tree of life, the picture that grew in my heart and which my niece, Amanda, so artfully designed.
The tree blossoming with the gifts of the Holy Spirit...all started with a single seed.

So how did God answer my cries?
These were the Words spoken at church on Sunday, the day after my prayers went out.
(And yes, I did just sit in the pew, laughing to myself and shaking my head back and forth in wonder.)
One of the best parts was that I was gifted the opportunity to read my answer aloud, proclaiming the first reading to the church.

(I began His answer to me...)

"Thus says the Lord:
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
and do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
so shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
my word shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it." - Isaiah 55:10-11

(Then we all proclaimed the responsorial together as a parish, each person unknowingly singing His answer to me.)

"The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest."
(SHOUTING He was, I tell ya'!)

(Finally, God took out a scriptural club and hit me over the head with the most loving way, of course...)
"On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around Him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore. 
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
A sower went out to sow. 
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up. 
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. 
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots. 
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. 
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

(He went on to add...)

“Hear then the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one
who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it,
and the evil one comes and steals away
what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. 
But he has no root and lasts only for a time. 
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away. 
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit. 
But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” - Matthew 13:1-23
(Bold & italicized emphasis mine.)

I can say nothing more than this Gospel reading declares.
Thank you for your answers Lord.
May this dream remain in rich soil, bearing the fruit of Your love for years to come.

{Thank you for staying with me even in these lengthy absences.
You can see above where I've been...wowie, it's close.
If you'd like, I'd love for you to come visit & like the Branching Out in Faith FB page for a daily seed of grace.
I'm truly grateful for your continued presence here.
I pray your day is BLESSED!}