Posted by: JennyRain | July 12, 2010

How to Cultivate an Abundant Life: Faith Like Potatoes

I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. John 15.1-2 MSG

Just recently I watched a movie called “Faith like potatoes.”

It was the story of a hard-working African farmer turned evangelist. In this movie, what struck me the most was how this lone farmer labored over the earth’s soil day after day. By the grace of God, his land produced, but he had to work to cultivate its produce.

Back-breaking work. The kind where your body has been emptied of sweat because you have no more of it to give. Work that exhausts you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

That kind of work.

Our heavenly Father is described in John 15 as a “farmer.”

It strikes me that in this definition of God-as-farmer, HE is the one who is doing the work in our lives.

HE is the one who bends all the way down to crack open the hardened soil of our hearts with the edge of the shovel blade.

HE is the one who lifts heavy mounds of straw-strewn dirt to uncover the rich-beds of moist-black earth below the surface.

HE is the one who kneels down with axe in hand to chop at the roots of long-held stumps and roots until they give way to plantable ground.

God does the work, the ground simply yields to His touch.

We are the ground.

Sometimes we are unforgiving ground that makes our Father struggle to make us plowable, plantable, and productive.

Sometimes we are ground that gives the appearance of plant-a-bility, but in the end harvest, only produces straw.

I want to be the kind of soil that my Father can plunge his fingers into and grab hand-fulls of moist, nutrient-laden earth. The type that holds on to the moisture it is gifted because it knows that to bear water is to give life.

I want to be fruitful

No matter if crops of corn, potatoes, or cabbage are planted in me. I want to flex with the seasons so that I can surrender to the elements without being overcome with them.

My Father is doing the work…

I want to be supple and responsive to Him doing it.

When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. John 15.6




  1. poetic and uplifting. thank you!

  2. I’m with ya… I am the biggest obstacle in my way. I want my soil to be rich and abundant with nutrients. Soil that absorbs the farmers hands and bears MUCH fruit. The beauty of it all… is He even creates my soil so it is ready for the harvest He has prepared.

  3. Jenny,
    As always, a great lesson. I especially like the comparison to wanting to be loose fertile soil that will produce for Him. I wish to be that kind of worker for Him too, but self becomes the obstacle sometimes. The great thing, He never gives up on us. God Bless

    • so grateful that He never gives up 🙂

  4. I think of one of my favorite passages Ezek. 36: 26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

    The Lord is working the heart of stone out of us. He prunes it. He removes it out of the soil to make it “fertile” and he changes us completely. He does put a lot of effort into us.

    I like the way you described the work. My husband and I have been in ministry together for 14 years in the city and it made me think of ministry. That is how it feels- like you pour out everything with all you have and wait for the return.

    I want to be a vineyard that flourishes. I want to be the soil that produces and produces.

    Oh- and I love that movie. I train/speak and I use illustrations in it all the time!


    • I love that you use that movie… I just saw it for the first time and it was so good! We watched the documentary too… it was inspiring… he was an amazing man. So pliable and teachable… I want to be like that 🙂

  5. In a blog comment conversation with Tracee last week she asked me what I’ve been specifically praying for. I said that God would reveal to me the sin that is in my life. I said I want to be a clean vessel that He can use. Out of that cleanness I want fruit to come forth. Visions of and parallelity with Him.

    Really like this:
    No matter if crops of corn, potatoes, or cabbage are planted in me. I want to flex with the seasons so that I can surrender to the elements without being overcome with them.

    • You are so brave friend – to pray like that. I love that about you – you are free before God… I want that too 🙂

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