Fallow Ground

Sometimes I’m wrong.

Sometimes I’m wrong for a long time. Like forty years.

That’s a long stretch to be off target.

Hoo-boy, was I ever relieved to see my error and fix my faulty thinking.

Being corrected is like leaving the chiropractor after being adjusted.
Freedom in movement once again!
Achy joints are released!
Foggy brain is clearer!
Spine is straighter!

Sometimes God has to put me on the table and give me a good adjustment. That happened recently as I read Hosea 10:12.

“Break up your fallow ground,
for it is time to seek the Lord,
until He comes and showers His righteousness on you.”

All this time I’ve misunderstood the words “fallow ground”.

I used to think fallow ground looked like this:

I mistakenly assumed this barren landscape represented my hard, dried up heart. I understood the command to break up the fallow ground as a call to repentance. I was supposed to invite the sharp blades of God’s plow to cut through the crusty surface. The sin I was harboring down deep needed to be rooted out.

It sounded painful.

Now I know better.
This is actually what fallow ground looks like:

As it turns out, fallow ground is land that is plowed, but intentionally left alone for a period of time in order to restore its fertility and future fruitful production. It’s a season of rest in order to be revived.

You’d think a farmer’s daughter would have known this.

I’ve never been so happy to find out I was wrong.

My heart, I feared, was parched and spent.
New life, it seemed, could not be found,
Until, one day, I learned it meant,
These dormant times are fallow ground.