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the thing about breakthrough

There are buzz words that float around the Church. They are wonderful because you hear this vocabulary and suddenly you can see what the Lord is up to with His people, not just in one denomination or one location or one "movement" (another buzz word), but all over the place.

Three or four years ago, one of those words floating around in music and message was "breakthrough" and it was needed. I personally needed it desperately. I experienced some tremendous change in my life in areas where I had been completely stuck. I had some nasty emotional garbage to take out. And I even experienced some dramatic physical healing. (They told me I'd be going in for chemo and - insert miracle - they couldn't find any cancer.) But that's a story for another day. There are so many reasons to need breakthrough and if you're going to grow, you absolutely need to have it.

But you can't plow backwards.

I was praying for a couple of people I love "better than dirt" a few days ago. And suddenly I watched a scene play out in my mind. There was a farmer from the pioneer days - strong, good looking, young and highly capable. The land was good. The plow horse was fit and ready. The plow was a gift and suited perfectly for the task. The weather was perfect for plowing.

But the farmer was sitting backwards on the plow letting the horse go where he assumed it knew to go, reigns slack. He was focussed on where he had been.

But you can't plow backwards.

And I understood.

Breaking up ground is similar to breakthrough. A plowed field is a thing of beauty and there's an excitement in it. Something fresh! Something new is coming!

But the farmer who expects and needs a crop needs to have some vision. He needs to head toward a goal.

So many of us (guilty here) are in the habit of looking backwards at where we've come from, who hurt us, what we have to overcome, aching for something new.

There might even be a season where a trusted friend plows a couple of rows for us and then hands us the tools, because we're ready. And the only way to go forward is to use the tools.

But breakthrough can be exhausting. So we sit on the plow, looking backwards and expect our tools and gifts to miraculously plow a good field without us doing the work, learning to use them, letting them become like second skin.


The young farmer had managed to catch on. He had turned around to plow the field, I guess, because he was standing at the edge and feeling a huge sense of power and accomplishment at his broken ground/break through. But I had a feeling of dis-ease. He stood there like his work was done. He was so proud -and rightly so - about his freshly turned up dirt. It was great.

But there was nothing planted in it. And I could tell he didn't even have plans to do anything but "breakthrough" with his field. I could feel that there was plenty of seed available, but it would be work to go get it, plant it... hard work.

I was alarmed and scared.

If you don't plant anything in the rows, then the weeds come in with even more flourish in this fertile ground left for them.

Seeds don't plant themselves. Weeds do.

So much of my life has been spent looking back at what events tangled my field. Then, thankfully, I received breakthrough.

But if I don't plant healthy seeds, then it will only be fertile ground for stronger weeds.

Breakthrough is great, but it is not the goal.

The goal is to plant seeds that will need to be nourished and tended so that they become a harvest that feeds people!

A harvest of meals and fellowship and nourishment. A life full of healthy people, also farmers, who know that seasons of breakthrough are necessary. You can't skip it.

But you can't plow backwards.

That's all I'm trying to say.


©2021 Lydia D Crouch

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