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Lectio > Matthew 13

July 8, 2011

From The Message > “What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road, and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled by the weeds. Some fell on good earth, and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams”

The part of this passage that shimmered for me was “beyond his wildest dreams.” It made me think of Paul’s words that he wrote from prison to the Ephesian church(es) about God doing vastly more than we could ever think or even imagine.
At times I can be very “success averse.” There is a deep brokeness in me that often believes the lie that to be a good Christian means you can’t succeed… you can’t win… you can’t propser… Perhaps this is an over-reaction to the “health and wealth” gospel that I have deep suspicion about… perhaps it was because I come from a tradition that really emphasized the death of Christ and under-emphasized  the resurrection. Another factor may be my fascination with the earliest Christian communities that were often small, struggling minorities vs. a healthy dose of looking forward to the triumphs we will enjoy (thanks to Christ’s work) in the new heavens and new earth of Revelation 22, the “end” of our story which is really the beginning… and then there are all the emotional and psychological reasons that aren’t even worth drudging up here…

Whatever the factors are I have trained myself to be suspicious of success.

But then I read a passage like this about bearing fruit beyond my wildest dreams and Paul’s words about God working in us in ways that will blow our minds and the Psalmist using phrases like “everything they do will prosper” (Psalm 1) and I start to dream of what that might look like in my context, in my life and the lives of those around me…

+++ Lord, I ask that you lead me to the places beyond my wildest dreams! I ask that the seed of your kingdom of beauty, truth and goodness will take up a fuller residence in me and produce a harvest beyond what I could ever think to ask or even conceive. Give me glimpses today of what that might look like and what that might feel like and let that seed of hope turn gradually into a harvest of prosperity and fruitfulness that will bring you glory and me joy. Amen. +++

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 8, 2011 11:23 am

    As I read this I resonated with your reasons for doubting “wildest dreams” and also came up with another, the beat-down that life gives you on this side of the veil. The struggles, the disappointments, the pain. the things that require long-suffering. We can be lured into the thinking that this is all there is and all there will be as a defense mechanism against dashed hopes. Hope is a dangerous thing, it keeps our hearts open and alive but also vulnerable. I’m reflecting with you, today.

    • July 8, 2011 11:51 am

      Chris, So very true! Just when things start to feel good and a sense of momentum develops there is opposition close at hand… we have both experienced this especially in the profound losses of close companions and co-conspirators… and I know many, many others share this grief (or this type of grief). I often find myself just waiting for the “other shoe to drop” when things are going well. I doubt it can last or be sustained… but then there’s that “dangerous hope” as you call it that just keeps knocking and putting everything in this wider context of eternity and it makes the grief and loss or even the potential grief or loss diminish… happy to be banking with you on a finale that will not disappoint!

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