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Stronger than Dirt

The sower sows the Word.  Mark 4:14 NKJV

stronger than dirtYears ago, a commercial described a laundry soap as “stronger than dirt.”

In the early 1970s, we lived near San Francisco. The hippie movement was in full swing. I was a new Christian. My husband’s brother Larry was a wild man who didn’t like me and thought his little brother had gone off the deep end with religion. But he and his wife ended up in church because they needed money. He told us later that he planned to scam the Christian couple who had evangelized us.

The church folks were thrilled that this ragged, wild-looking hippie couple had come to church. Larry made a big show for them so he could get more out of them later. Larry was the first when the pastor asked if anyone wanted to come to the altar and pray. “A good sympathy move,” he said.

While kneeling—not so humbly—at the altar, Larry thought about ways to steal a car from the couple. But then something unexpected happened. Jesus came. Larry found himself crying and praying. Before knowing what had happened, he earnestly prayed and asked God to forgive him. He lived for God 100 percent for the rest of his life.

I had zero faith in Larry and didn’t believe that even God could help him because the soil of his heart was so hard, like cement. But the truth is that we can’t see what is really going on inside the hearts of others.

I think of terms like digging up dirt, a dirty trick, dirty dishes, and talking dirty as allegories for the human heart. The Bible discusses dirt with rocks and thorns and good dirt where seeds can grow. When we look on with a faithless eye, none of the dirt looks too promising. It can be discouraging when we sow a seed (God’s Word) and nothing happens. But God taught me a lesson with Larry that I’ve never forgotten.

Good fruit doesn’t happen accidentally. Someone must sow, weed, water, fertilize, and love. We might think some people are unreachable or that a problem is just too big, but never forget that God keeps sowing because His love and mercy are stronger than dirt.


(Photo courtesy of pixabay and klimkin.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Sandy Palm

Sandy Palm is a writer.