Growth to the Seeds
Growth to the Seeds
So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
1 Corinthians 3:7 (ESV)
When I was in college, I had a spiritual life crisis. I believed in God, but my faith was always something I assumed I would spend time on later in life, once the fun years were behind me. I hadn’t counted on our country being attacked by terrorists during my sophomore year, or the resulting PTSD that made it suddenly very important to get my faith ducks in a row now.
I started meeting regularly with a young pastor and his wife. They were very patient and very kind as they answered my many questions about Christianity and theology, but my heart didn’t yet feel what my head wanted so badly to know. I wanted to understand God so that I could trust Him. Now as an adult, I know that trusting Him is so much more important than what we understand.
Twenty years after we had regularly met in his living room, research for an article I was writing led me back to that young pastor. Now a teaching pastor at a church in Iowa, he was thrilled to hear from me, and even more thrilled to learn I’ve come to know and love Jesus. He told me that he and his wife had been praying for me for all these years.
“Thank you for your patience back then,” I told him. “It couldn’t have been easy spending all that time trying to explain things that my heart wasn’t ready to comprehend.”
“You asked great questions,” he said. “My job wasn’t to change your heart. It was to answer them the best that I could.”
Dear God, You are the only One with the power to grow the seeds of faith within our hearts. Thank You for trusting us with the job of sharing Your word and blessings, but also for saving us from the burden of forcing things to grow.
This pastor didn’t feel that he had failed to make to me understand or grow in my faith because he knew something else that I did not – that wasn’t his job.
When we do God’s assigned work, the work matters, but we don’t control how those seeds we plant take root and grow. Only God can give growth to the seed. We should care about the outcome of sharing our faith, but also realize how and when that outcome comes to fruition isn’t part of our responsibility.
Just like that pastor, we should do our parts. Plant. Water. Pray. But the growth we can leave to God.
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