What’s the recipe for terror? Today’s world presents many different components of terror; finances, work, school, family, crime, lack of internet, terrorism itself. Furthermore, each society throughout the world has different aspects of terror. If we bend the pages of history back a few, for a group of men it was a stormy sea in the predawn night, then mix in a shadowy figure across the water toward your boat—that would scare even seasoned fishermen who’ve “seen it all.” And it did.
When we are terrorized by something, we’re fully convinced that everything will not be okay. We lose sense of rational thought and give in to our primal instincts for securing ourselves, flight or fight gains sway. And here Jesus not only enters into his disciples’ fear, He causes it. How often have we thought the terror we’re facing comes from God? How could terror be a source from God? Maybe to teach or remind us of an important lesson. As the disciples faced raging seas Jesus answers their terror in a subtly and important way for us to grasp—He simply reveals Himself. “It’s all right, I am here! Don’t be afraid.” Our assurance that everything in life will be okay has nothing to do with optimistic explanations about outcomes; it has everything to do with the presence of Jesus in the midst of our fear. And more than quelling our fears, He will invite us to walk into them, always with Him right by our side. We come to realize that God will use a variety of sources, even terror, to remind us about His presence.
The parable of a farmer scattering seed is one of the best-known of Jesus’ teaching parables. In this parable, the meaning behind the story is how to cultivate a heart that is receptive to hearing and accepting the redemptive message of Jesus’ death and resurrection, then to live a life that produces a huge harvest that can “feed” a multitude.
We are taught that Jesus is a source of life-giving nutrition and through the Holy Spirit we too are a source of nutrition. The only way we can produce that kind of fruit is to provide “good soil” for the seeds God planted within us to be planted among others. The meaning of our life, according to Jesus, is to do whatever it takes to continually offer Him “fertile soil” to give ourselves to understanding Him and His kingdom. A larger aspect is to continuously deepen our soul by pursuing the truth about ourselves and about God, and to set aside our worries and our material ambitions so that we trust God above all. Furthermore, pursuing God and deepening our relationship with Him will only assist in tilling other fields of fertile soil.
Even though we may at times walk through the valley of the shadow of death it can be to remind us the Lord is our Shepard, we have all we could ever want. There are moments we feel there is no escape except for the son who was sent to save us from sin. These moments can also be used as a means for spreading seeds to fertile soil. Every seasoned farmer goes through dry patches to yield a bountiful harvest.