Spending the first ten years of my life on our family farm gave me experiences that many of my city-living neighbors have no knowledge of: stripping tobacco…putting up hay…being covered in chigger bites from picking wild blackberries! While there were definitely some difficult times (itching all night being one of them), there were also some very good times, particularly when it came to being educated about nature and how best to care for it. Because—as I learned from my Dad—if you don’t take care of the land, it won’t take care of you.

Adding fertilizer was one of many ways we cared for the land to help maximize crop production. Most of the time, soil has either been stripped of certain nutrients from previous years’ crops, or it just doesn’t have the right ones to begin with. That’s where fertilizer comes in, providing those nutrients to help plants grow—plants that we would later sell or use for our own sustenance. Without fertilizer, the crops wouldn’t grow. And without the crops, we would have lacked food and money to live on.

Like the soil, our world alone cannot give us everything we need.  Sometimes that’s because we’ve created a bad environment with our actions; other times, it’s because the world can just naturally be a rough place.  Life can be harsh, and we need to have strength to draw on.

That’s why we all need a little fertilizer:  a sermon that speaks just to us, bible study that strengthens our knowledge of God, fellow Christians to prop us up when the winds of the world try to beat us down. Without fertilizer, our souls will be weak and have little or nothing to fall back on when times are hard.  Keep your soul well-fertilized. You’ll grow mightily in Christ, helping those around you to do the same.

Father, we thank you for giving us the continuing presence of the Holy Spirit, as well as your Son Jesus, so that we might feed, grow, reap, and share the blessings of your Word.  Amen.