What do earth, soil, land, and manure have in common? Let’s take a look. The earth is one big dirt ball known as the world or a globe. Soil is the upper layer of earth in which plants grow consisting of a mixture of organic remains such as clay, and rock particles. Land is any part of earth’s surface not covered by a body of water. And manure is animal dung released upon the earth from its life source to fertilize the land, increasing its ability to support plant growth.
Prior to transporting our horses 1200 miles, I had an interview with a professional trainer at one of the stables here in the area. She told me because of the pH differences in the soil, the biggest adjustment our horses would have would be with their hooves. She was spot on. Acidic soils are soils that have a pH of less than 6.5. The most common cause of acidic soil is heavy rainfall and where there are evergreen trees (dead evergreen needles are acidic). The soil’s percentage of calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate are what the horse’s hooves are required to adjust to.
Soil pH had an effect on each of our horses. I remember well the work, the attention, the treatments required to support each horse in their adjustment. At one point I became so weary. In route to the feed store, I picked up my cell phone (not having my glasses on) to call my son Michael (who brings such honor and practical advice into my world). I was surprised when I heard my friend Mary answer my call. Within minutes of praying with Mary, I met a couple of men at the feed store who were an answer to our prayer! Information was exchanged, appointments scheduled, and in a short time the horses were on the road to recovery.
The soil on which our horses stood and ate from affected their walk. As humans the soil on which we stand and eat from affect our walk as well. Is the pH of your soil more grace than shame or more shame than grace? Grace brings liberty. Shame brings lameness. Grace brings a consciousness of being the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus. Shame brings a consciousness of not being ‘good’ enough or that something is ‘wrong’ with you. Grace brings an awareness of being a son or daughter of God through the cross. Shame brings an awareness of being an orphan and not belonging. The good news – “Jesus took all our shame.” I pray that you be rooted and grounded in LOVE.
In our stallion’s pasture are two watermelon patches. How funny! Did I plant them? No. EMR Big Sky (stallion) enjoys eating watermelon rind. From time to time we would take rind to his pasture. Life is in the seed. The seed is in an environment for roots to take place and grow. This environment happens to be manure piles. The fruit is the result of this process. Have I eaten any of these watermelons? No, not yet. I’ll decide that after I cut into one.
We all have had moments that we wish we could undo something we did, erase words that we spoke that brought harm to another, or reacted instead of responded to someone we sincerely love. (Your reaction nailed your coffin rather than growing a relationship). Yet, look at this visual right out in the pasture!
Scripture tells us, “You shall know them by their fruit.” Not once did I question what kind of fruit this was. I knew – watermelon. What amazed me was the environment where it had grown. In 2015, I wrote, ‘…but God is going to shift the environment to make it possible for you to thrive.’ This Thanksgiving watch and be aware of the shifting that is possible in and through the LORD for you to thrive; whether it is earth, soil, land or manure.