It is All in the Soil

Double Digging: How to Build a Better Veggie Bed - Modern Farmer

I have been busy over the past month or so preparing the soil on my new raised beds for growing soft fruits.  It has been a lot of work, hard work, unseen work, but the work put in now will far outweigh the future benefits and a full crop of fruits!

So what preparation have I done?

Well I have filled by raised beds with a mixture of soil, compost, sand and seaweed.  I have layered them.  I have turned them over, mixed them in, dug out the stones and put in lots of good nutrients to give the plants the best chance there is to put down good roots to withstand times of drought or flood and to produce a bountiful harvest!

As I was working, toiling away at this I was ofcourse thinking of the similarities in the spiritual life.  How we need to prepare our soil so that we can withstand the day of trouble and bear good fruit for the Lord.

TURN OVER the soil of our hearts that is to get rid of the rocks of unbelief and the stones of doubt. When you turn the soil over, rocks & stones rise to the surface and you can throw them out, get rid of them, don’t give them a place in your heart.

DIG IN the good things which will help feed us, like Bible reading, prayer, holiness, study of scripture, reading & hearing the word of God.

LAYER UP  with the disciplines of  Thankfulness, Repentance, Remembrance, Intercession, Meditation, Fellowship.

SOW in seeds of love, kindness, patience, faithfulness, steadfastness.

GROW deep roots when planted and watered by the Word of God and Prayer

HARVEST right living with God, bearing fruit for Him, giving glory to Him.

All the preparation leads to us THRIVING and this has been my ‘Word’ for the year, but in order to thrive in the drought, in the frost, in the downpours, in the dead of winter, in order for all that we have to put the work in now.  We have to prepare, dig in deep to God’s Word, bring His promises to remembrance, keep short accounts with Him, and in all things have a thankful heart.

The work now will keep us when troubles come, when faith is tested, when circumstances are hard, when we would waver and fall.  Then our roots in Jesus will keep us firm, the layering of disciplines will keep our walk straight and through it all we will thrive and bear fruit for the Lord.

They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. [Ps 112:7].

Not just Survive, but made to Thrive

Family Thrive training - The Mill

I have heard/read many people say how glad they are that 2020 is now past, good riddance to it, ‘we survived it”. Many of course haven’t and for many of us we have been holding on with our finger-tips. But what if we were made for more?

So often our days/weeks are just about surviving, getting by, coping, but surely we were made for more than this? Made to thrive and not just survive?

I did it myself, at the start of the week I’d look ahead to all the tasks, work, meetings etc and my goal was actually just to survive, just to get through the week and I look forward to that space , that gap at the end of the week when I could draw breath, breathe a sigh of relief, phew I’ve survived! Then 2020 happened! However, the past year brought for me more time, more space, more breathing space.

Survive means to continue to live or exist, especially after coming close to dying or being destroyed or after being in a difficult or threatening situation.

The verb thrive means to flourish or grow vigorously

So the difference is to barely come out of a situation unscathed or to flourish within that situation.

So how do you thrive in a global pandemic?

How do you thrive the pressures of Lockdown?

How do I thrive when there are nagging doubts plaguing me?

How do I thrive when assailed and buffeted by the storms of life?

How do I thrive when my to-do list seems longer than the available hours of the day or my days stretch endlessly by with no focus or purpose?

This song from Casting Crowns echo’s what is in my own heart at this time:

Thrive , Casting Crowns

Here in this worn and weary land
Where many a dream has died Like a tree planted by the water
We never will run dry So living water flowing through
God we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls
With one desire Just to know You and to make You known
We lift Your name on High
Shine like the sun made darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more
Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive

Into Your word we’re digging deep
To know our Father’s heart Into the world we’re reaching out
To show them who You are So living water flowing through
God we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls
With one desire Just to know You and to make You known


So how do we achieve this? How do we thrive in the midst of a Pandemic? How to we thrive when pressed in on every side? How do we thrive when we are faced with adversities and the daily grind and toil? How do we more than just survive, but actively thrive and flourish?

The secret is found here in Psalm 92:

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,

they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;

13 planted in the house of the Lord,

they will flourish in the courts of our God.

14 They will still bear fruit in old age,

they will stay fresh and green,

15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;

he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

So to flourish like a palm tree and grow we have to be planted in the house of the Lord, planted with a firm grounding, our roots going down deep into the Word of God. Saturated in God’s Word, AND surrounded by God’s people in fellowship. Then we will still be bearing fruit in old age, still staying fresh and green! In other words flourishing, thriving, more than just surviving!

So my dear friend, let us drink deeply, let us drink daily of the fountain of grace so that we are fed and watered and fruitful and reaching the end of the week thriving, reaching the end of the year stronger, reaching the end of a pandemic with deeper roots in God, reaching old age still fresh and green! Let’s dig deep into the Word, let’s put our faith into practice and proclaim that ‘The Lord is upright, that He is my Rock and that there is no wickedness in Him’.

We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive, We were made to thrive.