Seasons of Growth, Part 4: Fallow

Seasons of Growth, Part 4: Fallow

Gardening can drain the soil, especially when we plant the same crop year after year. Each plant leeches something from the soil while giving something else back. For example, soybeans leave nitrates in the soil, while corn absorbs nitrates. To replenish the chemical composition of soil after a crop, some farmers let their land go fallow so that the soil can naturally restore its proper balance.

The past two weeks I have spent harvesting what I could use from my garden. Bean plants were ripped up and composted. Bell peppers have been chopped and frozen. I have made pasta sauce and salsa till my lower cabinets are nearly red with tomato juice stains. And now all the stakes, cages, and trellises have been stored away for winter. The soil received some compost and was tilled one last time before the fallow season of fall and winter. The rich brown soil looks ready for another season of growth, but like traditional farmers before us, we are allowing the soil to lie fallow so that it might become more fruitful next year.

If your life is like my garden, are you in a fallow season? Maybe you have just completed a fruitful season of ministry, and now you sense God leading you to rest. Perhaps you’ve been removed from fruitful life through a sudden transplanting or uprooting just prior to the great harvest. Or perhaps you’ve felt fruitless for a long, long time. You read God’s Word, and nothing seems to grab you or motivate you. You sit there prayerfully confessing sins in hopes of a revival. You wonder where God is in this cold season. You saturate yourself with sermons, music, books—all the right things to stimulate God’s work in your life, yet it seems that God is far, far away. Your soil is fallow.

I urge you to continue to seek the Lord during this fallow time. Your life’s soil still needs the water of God’s Word. Spend time with Him, and saturate yourself with His Word. Read it, have it read to you, memorize it, meditate on it, write songs about it. Keep on praying and calling out to God because He is not far from you. The fallow season is a necessary period in the cycle of gardening and another time of verdant growth will come. Wait patiently for Him. He will come and plow the fallow ground and plant seeds which will produce a future harvest of righteousness.

“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; for as surely as the dawn, He will come. He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth” (Hosea 6:3).

by Heather Soukup, Director of Women’s Ministries

Seasons of Growth Series:

Part 1: Seasons of Growth
Part 2: Fruit Bearing
Part 3: Harvest
Part 4: Fallow
Part 5: Seeds
Part 6: Placement
Part 7: Unless We Suffer