Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Lesson from the Field

Spring is in full swing on the farm here in Iowa, which means we have work to do. One of the jobs my kids and I have been doing is picking rock. For those of you unfamiliar with this line of work let me explain - some areas of farm ground are a bit rocky and when that's the case we have to remove the rocks. The purpose is two-fold - rocks can hinder growth and they can damage equipment. This is a job we have to do every year and sometimes we joke that perhaps we should raise rocks instead of corn!! The other day as I was out in the cool temps and blowing winds, God used my time in the field to teach me a lesson. My prayer is He will use it to teach you as well! 

That day in the field and now each time since, God has me thinking about removing rocks from the soil of my heart. Friend, we are sinners and will forever live with the temptation to feed our flesh. Because that is a reality, I truly believe this lesson from the field is good food for thought. So a few observations from the great outdoors that can help us improve our heart's soil condition.

First of all, I immediately noticed my little 5 year old eagerly running across the field to get the biggest rock he could find. This is not part of the method we use...we pick rock by going up and down the field, picking the rocks in our area knowing we'll get to all of them eventually. As I watched Jed run, I was reminded I need to deal with all the sin in my heart rather than running to the ones that are big and obvious. Or better yet - the ones that are easier to deal with.

Another lesson I learned was that sometimes we need help...picking rock is not a job you want to do alone. Friend, we often think dealing with sin is something we want to do all by ourselves, but in reality there is great power in numbers. Accountability is important and there is strength in numbers. My kids help each other as we pick rock...I love having my little Jaylyn in my Ranger as she is constantly encouraging me and letting me know I'm doing a good job.  Sometimes the kids see a rock someone else might not and can't we do the same as sisters when we walk in faith and remove the rock of sin from our heart? I think so. Let's pray and ask God to do it in a loving encouraging way just like my lil lady!

Along that same line, there are other things that help us pick rock...our skidloaders, Rangers, buckets and shovels. Friend, our Bibles, time in prayer and worship will help us as well!!

Another thing I realized was that sometimes the rocks are easy to see...they are above ground and out in the open, while other times they are hidden and can easily be overlooked. Sometimes a rock looks real small from a distance but then as you approach it or dig it out, you realize it's not what you thought. Isn't that true with sin? I'm guessing you're clearly aware of a sin in your life, but are there others that are hidden and harder to see? Are there some that seem small and make you think it's really not a big deal? Friend, sin is sin and we're not to enter in...perhaps we categorize it, but God doesn't!! My husband doesn't want rocks in the field and God doesn't want them in our heart!! No matter the size!!

Once as I walked to pick up one rock, I spotted another farther away, so I walked on to it planning to get the first one later. Well, when I turned around I lost sight of it and as I did God reminded me that happens with sin too. When we recognize sin in our heart, we must deal with it immediately because when we put it off we forget about it or start to overlook it.

Friend, I will admit picking rock was not a job I sought when I was a kid, but yet it's one I found myself doing every summer. I was for sure I'd NEVER do it as an adult! It's a job that has you out in the heat or cold, dusty conditions, leaves you dirty and's not that fun, but it serves a purpose. As a teen it brought good money and now as a Mom it gives me an opportunity to teach my kids and work with them while I help my husband. Friend, when we remove the rocks from our heart, the work is usually not fun, but it serves a purpose - one that is way more important than those I've listed above! It's worth it, so will you join me in doing it?

I've shared more than enough of my words, so let me close with some powerful ones from the Word - 

"Anyone then who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." James 4:17

"He who conceals his sins doesn't not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." Proverbs 28:13

"But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:7-9

"Also keep back your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not rule over me; then I will be blameless, and I shall be acquitted of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:13-14

Dear Heavenly Father, Lord thank you for being a loving, kind, forgiving God. Help me be a daughter who recognizes my sin, deals with it and turns from it. Do not let sin rule over me confess them and embrace your forgiveness as you remove them farther than the east is from the west. Thank you for the lessons you teach us in our ordinary lives...continue to open our ears and eyes while You tender our hearts to see, listen and receive all You have for us. Lord, remove the rocks from our heart so we can be fruitful for You! In Jesus' Name, Amen


  1. Jill, I absolutely love the stories from your life. God illustrates His word so vividly through you. Thank you my dear friend! I love you!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Grateful He uses my life to speak into yours! Blessings to you!

  2. Hey Jill, again I loved your analogy of our sins and the rocks. My moma was one of thirteen children, and they lived on a 100 acre farm. I have listened to so many stories about growing up on a farm, getting up at dawn, milking cows and feeding chickens, planting tobacco, cotton, and food for their table. My Grandma Elder would have a child one day, and the next day, she would be out in the fields. I know hold those stories close in my heart as I only have 3 aunts and 2 uncles left; the land was divided among the 13 when my grandparents died. I have such a rich heritage from my moma and the life she lived. Even though it wasn't always pleasant, their environment helped to mold them into the people I have proudly called my family. I love the Scripture in Isaiah 61:3B as it makes me think of my moma and her "upbringing", "...They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor." Her family was as strong as the oak trees in their dedication to hard work and their (some of them) commitment to the Lord. What treasures!!!! You are teaching valuable lessons to your children as I am sure that you are aware. One day, they will be telling their children stories about picking up rocks...
    Bless you and yours,
    Mema Jeanne

    1. That is quite the legacy! And a perfect verse to connect with your mom and you're a strong oak as well!! Thank you for always stopping by and sharing encouraging words. Blessings to you!