It’s been a drippy wet 2017 so far. Bounteous quantities of rain continue to fall locally and in states where drought had ruled for years. During dry spells, the ground can become hard like a tabletop. This is especially so, when it sits undisturbed for long periods of time and there’s been little or no rainfall to soften it. Farmers and gardeners break up hard ground using various tools before they plant seed.
Rain is generally considered a blessing in scripture. In the natural it soaks in and softens ground, giving seed the moisture it needs to grow. Unless the ground is too dried out and packed down; in which case, water runs off and often takes topsoil away with it. Gardeners till the soil, loosening it using simple tools such as a trowel, or a shovel, or a hoe. Farmers plow ground with bigger machinery to accomplish the same objective faster and on a larger scale. When circumstances are right, soil, moisture and seed combine to produce a crop. What is true in the natural is applicable to the spiritual realm also.
Jesus drew a parallel between human hearts and ground, with the gospel being seed.
Over a period of years in the USA hearts have become hardened to the gospel of Jesus Christ, even antagonistic in much of mainstream society. God seems to be working to change the conditions out there to make room for greater receptivity. Societal unrest is apparently shaking up stiff human hearts much like a gardener swinging a hoe breaks up hard ground to dig rows before planting.