“Many of the most significant outcomes in our lives are the result of someone having planted a seed. Think of the things that would never exist if someone hadn’t started the process.” – Tom Davis, Fields of the Fatherless
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about seeds. I am not a farmer or a gardener. I admire those who work hard and have cultivated skills in these areas. Now, more than ever, I see the value in all that they do. If I’m honest, I don’t like the amount of patience required to grow things. I like the beautiful or delicious end product, but it has come at the expense of another’s hard work. Someone must plant the seed, nurture it, prune it, and inevitably wait for it to flourish. There is nothing about it that is quick. The work is a process. That is the part where I often get hung up- allowing the process to play out, uncertain of what is to come or if the conditions will be right to get the product I envision.
If you are anything like me, waiting can be almost unbearable at times. Not long before so many things changed in the world, I had gotten to that point with a particular season of waiting. Things were not happening, and I was crying out to God that I had held on long enough. Then the pandemic hit. If I thought that I had been waiting before, this brought a new level of helplessness. There was no way to make progress or even see a time in which answers might come because the world had been put on pause.
This is when the ideas of seeds and planting began to roll around in my mind. We had planted our hopes into the darkness of the dirt, and now were desperately waiting for them to bloom. For all of us, waiting often causes us to question. For me it was, “didn’t we do what we were called to do? If this was right, why aren’t we seeing it bear fruit? God, are You still working here?”
His answer to my questions came gradually, as for me, they often do. Things I read, words from others, quiet moments began to bring things into focus. Just because we aren’t yet seeing fruit, doesn’t mean that the growth isn’t happening. Just because we are not able to do more to get to the end product, doesn’t mean that work isn’t being done. As with any plant, the progress is often unseen for periods of time. It is hidden from our eyes. My work, our work, is the planting and watering. God’s work is to make things grow. Only the Creator of life brings life to the work of our hands. While it is difficult to wait for the growth and change we long for, we do not have to wait idly. While what we have planted is not yet in bloom, there are other things waiting to be planted. Each season of the year and our lives is a season for planting. It just might be a different seed or a new area of the land that we are to work. In this season of waiting, what am I planting that can later bear fruit?
Be encouraged, fellow workers! The end result does not depend on you. While you are waiting for something, waiting on God, be about the work of planting. We are to be faithful sowers. We may get the great privilege of seeing the harvest for the work we put in or we may only ever know of the seed. The point is that we continue to plant. God has given us seeds in the form of our passions, talents, possessions, and personalities. He has made us to do the work of planting seeds for the Kingdom, but He has also equipped us for that work.
What do you hold in your hand, however small, that you can offer for the sake of Christ being known in the world? Who around you can benefit from the seeds that you will sow into their lives? Children that you nurture and teach will in some way impact the next generation. The hurting, lonely, and hungry may take the compassion they are shown and use their gifts to change others with that same struggle. The lost soul who desperately needs to know of the Savior who is at work in you may be the very one to lead many after you to the God that you introduced them to.
Those results are not in our hands or even for us to know today. In a time such as this, we are able to plant seeds of hope that will impact generations far beyond our sight. May we be faithful sowers as we wait for the coming harvest.