Hand to the Plow

April 9, 2008 at 4:11 am (My Journey) (, , )

The words in red letters from Luke 9 have always held my interest.  Verse 62 tells us that “Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'” 

My daddy grew up on a farm – well, as he was born to sharecroppers, he grew up on several farms.  I remember that my first understanding of this verse came from his explanation from his own experiences.  He said that a person plowing with a mule would set his sights on a particular tree or fence post at the other end of the garden in order to keep the furrows straight.  Anyone who was constantly turning to look behind would plow a crooked row.

I see so many connections to my life.  Some days the rows were straight, and some days not so much. 

This past weekend at our regional conference I heard another description of Jesus’ illustration to which I can also relate.  Some days the ground is hard and no matter which way you look the row is going to be crooked.  So, I’m thinking the issue must not be how straight your rows are; the issue is whether you are still holding the plow when you get to the end of the row. 

Have you ever TRIED to hold onto a plow in the hard soil?  Are you kidding me?!  I wouldn’t know which end of the plow was for the mule and which end was for me!  However, my imagination (which is quite vivid based on all the stories I’ve heard from my daddy) helps me understand why when I get to the “end” of my row, my hands are raw, my knees are bloody, and there’s mud on my face.  But there’s good news!  As hard as life can be, I can live with the Jesus’ promise in Matthew 10:22, “He that endures to the end will be saved.”

In this fourth month of my year of significance, I refuse to be defeated.  I refuse to look back.  I refuse to turn to the left or right.  My row may not be perfectly straight, but I will get to the end of it.  When I do, I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

The apostle Paul encouraged his apprentice, Timothy, with the same thoughts.  He said,

  • I have fought a good fight, (It wasn’t easy plowing, but I kept at it.)
  • I have finished my course, (I’m still hanging onto the plow at the end of the row.)
  • I have kept the faith: (I realize it wasn’t about me; it’s about His plan for me.)
  • Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.  II Timothy 4:7,8

So, don’t give up, and don’t give in!  Hang on, the end IS worth the means.


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