During a recent Bible study, I handed my friends white papers with small drawings in the center and asked what did they see. Most of them described the drawing in the center of the paper. Only a few mentioned the white paper. The purpose of the paper given to friends was to have them aware of how they perceive themselves. The paper represented their lives, the things they possess, their goals, their problems, and everything that characterized who they were. The small drawing in the middle represented the small part of their life they constantly think and concentrate on.
What are some things you have focused on so much that has stopped you from seeing the bigger picture God has revealed to you? It might be your goals for the future or problems you have been facing. Whatever it is, you must be cautious to not give more attention to these things than to the word of God. The parable of the Sower below will help you understand this situation better.
“Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” ( Matthew 13: 3 – 8)
I used to think most Christians were part of the fourth group of seed— one that is fruitful. However, when I began to pay attention to my life and other Christians around me, I realized we have been more similar to the third group, the one that fell among thorns. Below is what Jesus says about this group of seeds.
“The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22)
In our lives, we will always have a lot of things to worry about, and some of us will always be searching for wealth. However, we should not let these thorns, these worries, and desires; choke our faith in Christ and the things He has prepared for us. In order to do that, we must learn to turn worry into prayer. We must present our concerns to God and have faith that He will take care of us and do all the things for His own glory. We must try to renew our minds by not beginning concerning about the small draw, and beginning to be thankful for the white part of the paper. In other words, stop worrying so much and start thanking Him a lot more!
This advice reminds me of a question I heard on a sermon: “What if you woke up today only with the things you were thankful for yesterday?” The pastor said that a lot of us would not wake up in a bed, but on the floor. Maybe we would be homeless or would not have anything to eat. Even worst, we may not be living with the people we love. This question reveals not only how we have failed on being thankful, but also how many things we can be thankful for. If we spent 24 hours in a day thinking about our concerns, that does not give us much time to be thankful for the things God has already given us. Being thankful is a characteristic of the fourth group of seeds, the doers of the word of God.
“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13:23)
We must not only hear but understand the word of God, having faith in His plans and purposes for our lives. Therefore, do not let yourself get choked by the worries of this life, trust in God and be thankful!