All around our village at the moment the crops are growing at an amazing rate, some have actually been harvested already.
However, not all the fields are seeing this dramatic growth, some have been left “fallow.” One agricultural website describes fallow ground like this. Fallow ground is simply ground or soil which has been left unplanted for a period of time. In other words, fallow land is land left to rest and regenerate. A field, or several fields, are taken out of crop rotation for a specific period of time, usually one to five years, depending on crop so that they can experience healthy growth in the future. In agriculture inactivity and rest for fields prepares the ground for future harvest.
It was the phrase “fallow land is land left to rest and regenerate” that really caught my attention. This time of rest from the normal routine of agricultural activity allows this ground to rest and regenerate so that it can experience and sustain healthy growth again.
I was thinking about how this also applies in church life. When summer comes everything seems to come to an end, ministries stop, worship attendance goes down, as people head off on holiday. You could look at as us a church during summer and it would seem like, as with a fallow field, nothing productive is happening.
But I think you would be wrong. Here is what I have been wondering about and then praying about.
What if this time of the church being fallow, of apparent spiritual inactivity, could allow us “rest and regenerate” and so prepare our hearts for new healthy growth?
What if this time of rest from normal church activities was as vital to seeing future growth in our lives and church as a field being left fallow is for future harvests?
What if summer is preparing us for a busy time of bumper harvest in the future?
I am going to be praying that the Lord will make us fallow ground this summer and then as we regather after the holiday season I am going to listen to Hosea and begin the work that needs to be done to reap the harvest the time of fallow ground has prepared us for.
Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you Hosea 10:12