“There is a third category [of hearers in the Parable of the Sower]. It is made up of those who not only hear the Word but also ‘hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience’ (Luke 8:15). Hearing the Word is not hard; holding it fast is a different matter. Here are the people who cut their lives to its truths, who hear in its words the voice of eternity, indeed the voice of their incarnate and resurrected Savior speaking.
“In fact, there is nothing quite so cheering, so invigorating, as to be with people like this. They are people whose eyes are wide open to the shadows and pains of life, but they also live on another plane. They no longer stare in self-pity at their own pains, and no longer run from one preacher to another seeking some therapeutic release from anxiety, fear, confusion, and bewilderment. They are people who are tough-minded, morally sinewy, and infectiously joyful. They are the ones who have done what is necessary. The Word entered not only the surface of their lives but also the soil beneath it. The tangled roots of the weeds have been pulled out of this soil so that the seed grows into a strong plant.”
– David F. Wells The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2008), 90.