The Rocks Rise Up

One of the things that has been a mystery to me in the past is why farmers have to continually pick rocks out of their field. Here in Iowa about 80% of the soil is tilled and planted to grow corn and soybeans and other crops. And every year farmers have to pick many rocks of all sizes out of the field.

I lived in New England before I lived here and I can remember rocks being referred to as New England potatoes because they would grow in the fields every year. This is probably one of the reasons that New England farmers put a lot of stone walls everywhere as boundary markers. You can walk through forests that have been there for decades upon decades and all of a sudden come across a stone wall out in the middle of nowhere. This tells you that at one time this was tillable soil and somebody had a fence line made out of Rock. If you have a rock wall at the end of your field any rocks you pick can go on that fence. Than- makes a lot of sense and makes picking out rocks a good thing.

stone wall

In Iowa we don’t have stone walls so the rocks have to find a place on the farm somewhere. Most of them are fairly small, but occasionally farmers tell me that they get one that has to be dug out and carried away with some type of implement. Huge rocks, bigger than me, are often found. Why does that happen?

I finally took the time to look it up on the internet. Rocks conduct heat better than the soil. In the winter time, when it gets cold here, the moisture in the dirt freezes the soil. Under the rocks will freeze before the soil around it. We all know that water expands when it freezes, so when the ice under the Rock thaws out there’s a gap between the Rock and the ice. This gap is then naturally filled in with dirt which raises up the rock, sometimes by as much as six inches. This causes rocks to be continually forced to the service.

a big rock

 

Jesus did a lot of his teaching in parables and many of those parables involved the ground. He did this because most of the people in Jesus time were farmers and they could understand how the Earth worked. There’s a lesson to be learned from these rocks and I think it’s one that we all need to eat.

We may do a great job feeding our spirit with the word (Heb 5:12-14, Jer 3:15, John 6:51)), taking in the living water (Eph 5:26, John 4:14) and being in the light (Psalm 119:105, I John 1:5-7). The word needs to always be vibrant in our lives. Our prayer life may be active (Phil 4:7) and we might seem to be going along well. But once in a while there comes a time when we lack energy toward God, when our zeal is gone and our spirit seems empty. This has happened to me on many occasions. In those times it’s easy for us to grow cold in our spirit instead of staying hot or warm. This is the time when the rocks can rise in our lives.

Rocks represent some of the harder times is our spiritual. They may represent some of the areas where we do not allow God to do the work that He wants to do. We have closed those doors so He cannot go in, and God is a gentleman. he will not force Himself on us, but He will bring about circumstances that will work on those areas. These bring up stumbling blocks, or rocks, in our lives.

Remember the story of the tares (Matt 13:24-30)? When seed fell on rocks, or soil, the birds could swoop down and take it away. These “birds” are people around us who laugh and mock our faith and our belies, and we bow to their criticism and turn away from what God wants to do in our lives. The rocks remain and the word goes away, leaving us floundering, and we do become unfruitful.

rocky ground

It is so essential that we get into these areas in our lives and remove the rocks that are causing the problem. We do this by having diligence in our faith and turning back to God. We do this by lifting all the praise To him. But most importantly, we do this by taking our eyes off of ourselves and becoming more humble and obedient to the word of God. Most likely, we have been reading the word and praising Him, but we have not been watching our pride rising up within us, and we get proud spiritually. This is the biggest rock of all. God takes great interest in how you deal with these times in your life.

You cannot avoid the rising rocks. It is going to happen in your life on occasion just like it happens to the farmers every year. There is nothing can do to avoid it (James 1:1-13, 1 Peter 4:12). But you can take action if you have rocks that are holding you back from worshiping Him as you should and giving him your all.

If you sit there and say this cannot happen to me. I am full of zeal and following the Holy Spirit’s lead, then I say you are too proud and you need to humble yourself, bow down, and ask God to forgive you and to show you your pride. We are all affected by this. We are all vulnerable to the rocks rising in our lives.

I implore you to search your heart and ask God to search your heart and reveal any wicked way that’s in you (Psalm 23-24). Allow Him the access that He needs to show you where you need to change. The hear His voice and heed His words. It takes a careful listener to hear God speak many times. Quiet yourself before the Lord.

One more thing. When Jesus was entering Jerusalem for the last time, and the people laid down their clothes and palm branches while they welcomed Him with praise, there were some who chastised Him for accepting their praise. They were the proud Pharisees and Scribes of the day. Jesus said on the day that if the people didn’t praise Him, the rocks would cry out and praise Him (Luke 19:40) If the people were cold toward Him, as the religious leaders of the day were, the rocks would rise up and show His glory. They would bring us to our knees before an almighty God. They would produce honor for God in our lives. this s what the rocks are for. Allow them to shape and mold you. Become a vessel of honor for God.

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