That is why I use these parables, for they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand. –Matthew 13:13

As my dog, Peanut, got older she began to lose her sight. I remember watching her walk down the hall of our family’s home feeling so sad because she kept bumping into the walls due to her poor vision. After a few weeks of this, Peanut went to the groomers. She came back with a new short haircut. I watched in awe as Peanut trotted in a straight line down the hall, never running into a wall once. Then it hit me: Peanut wasn’t going blind. Rather, the hair in front of her eyes had gotten so long it was blocking her sight.

In Matthew 13, Jesus tells the parable of the four soils. Jesus used this analogy to give unique insight into the ways of God. In this parable, Jesus showed how differently people hear the Word of God. For some, they hear, but do not understand. Others hear it, accept it, but fall away quickly because there is no depth to their faith. Still others hear the message, but the worries of life and lust of the world leave no room for God. There are some, however, who hear and understand, producing a harvest that extends beyond them.

Which soil are you? Sometimes, I think I fall into all four categories. There are times when I am thirsty and searching and it is easy for God’s Word to burrow deep into my heart. Still, there are other times I am too busy to pay attention to the lessons God is teaching me. I am blinded by an outward distraction or worry. It is at those times I become spiritually blinded, stumbling until I am willing to take care of the root problem: the blinders blocking my eyes.

Spiritual blindness need not be a permanent problem. We have the opportunity to see more clearly by removing the blinders from our hearts. We must humble ourselves and ask God to give us a pliable and understanding heart–which is work that He wants to do in our lives. Then, we must follow through and do what we know we need to do.

Trust God to be faithful to continue the work He has begun in you. As a result, you will have eyes that see and ears to hear the greatness of our Lord.

1. What hinders God’s Word from rooting deep in your heart?

2. What are ways you have seen God’s Word take root in your life when your heart was open to understanding?

Matthew 13:1-23; 1 Corinthians 2:6-10; Ephesians 3:3-9

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Kelly McFadden

Kelly McFadden is a wife and mother and is part of the HomeWord daily devotional writing team. Kelly graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2000 with a degree in journalism. Following a season of playing professional volleyball and training with the US National team, Kelly returned to school and received her Masters in Christian Education from Azusa Pacific University.

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