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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Wednesday, July 14

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until the Lord comes and showers righteousness on you.
—Hosea 13:14

What a lovely image—what a descriptive phrase—to break up the fallow ground. Over the years of lived life, as we wander away from the source of our life energy, our soul becomes like fallow ground. It is a subtle shift. The daily whirl of events and expectations is spun from our individual motivation with a sprinkling of God, rather than the other way around. 

Holiness cannot thrive in that upside-down arena. The focus is misplaced. Over time the soil of holiness becomes dry and hard. New seedlings cannot be planted there; the ground becomes useless for growth. Yet, underneath the hard dirt, a life waits to be unearthed. The energy is still moving, and life is ready to be let out, but the ground must be broken up for that life force to surface and expand.

It's tempting to leave a hard, dry field alone because it's so much work to break it up. But the beautiful dark, rich soil that lies underneath is a wonderful sight. If one can just begin, one will continue. The life that shows after one turns over the first hard clod of dry dirt will act as a motivator for doing the work in earnest.

It isn't easy to plow the ground of my life, Lord. Assure me that the work is worth the doing. Let me know that underneath the broken fissures of my outward life, there lies a soul beating and whole.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2003.