Sow the Seed

Yesterday we visited one of our staff members in hospital. She had been involved in a motor accident and was injured. I prayed for her for a speedy recovery. I hope she took the prayer to heart and will accept that God wants her to be healed. I cannot make her accept the prayer and once I have prayed it is not going to be for me to keep worrying if she is going to be healed or not. God is the healer, not me. If I tell someone about Jesus and His saving grace it is just the same. I can tell them everything I know but I cannot force them to believe.
1 Corinthians 3:6-9, I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters has one purpose, and each will be rewarded by his own labour. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
Here it shows that if we carry out the Word but do not see the results immediately, it doesn’t mean there aren’t results. It only means that along the line, in time the seed might begin to grow when it gets watered and then it might be harvested by somebody else. We must never think that our efforts are worthless. We must not stop sowing the seeds because we cannot see the results.
I have often heard the story of the Chinese bamboo seed which takes 5 years to sprout. You plant it and keep it watered for five long years. Then, once it sprouts, it grows 24 meters in just six weeks. Isn’t that just amazing. If you stop watering it because you think it’s not growing, it’s never going to sprout. You just have to have so much patience!
Mark 4:2-8, Jesus taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among the thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty or even a hundred times.
This parable has been such a revelation to me. We very easily look at preachers and evangelists and judge their success by the number of converts they have. That is probably a normal thing to do. But here Jesus illustrates that we should not be judging the seed. The farmer did not have bad seed. All the seed he had was the same. He also didn’t scatter different kinds of seed in the different places. All the seed that he had was exactly the same. The soil that it fell on was different. So we cannot judge the seed. If someone is preaching or having an evangelical conference and only a few people are converted it doesn’t mean that the seed is bad. Likewise, if there are many converts but some of them grow cold in a few weeks or months it is not the fault of the seed. The soil is the problem. If we sow the seed we don’t have a way to know if the soil is good or if the soil is shallow, rocky or filled with weeds. We also don’t know ahead of time if the birds are going to eat the seed before it can germinate.
We have been called to sow the seed, that’s all. We have also been called to water seed and reap a harvest, but not necessarily the same seed that we sowed. Ultimately all we can do is be obedient and sow wherever we can and whenever we can and pray that the harvest will come it when it is ready.

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