I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. ~1 Corinthians 3:6-8 (NLT)
Spring is just around the corner (at least in some places). It’s a time when we anticipate new growth with excitement. It’s a time when many people make plans for planting seeds. It can also be a time of stress and anxiety. Have you ever felt worry over something you planted? Have you ever asked yourself any of these questions:
- What if I plant the wrong seeds?
- What if my flowers don’t bloom?
- What if my plants don’t produce any fruit?
- What if I water too much?
- What if I don’t water enough?
The part you play is important, and you should try to do it well, but it might help to remember that only God can make the plant grow. You can carefully choose the seeds; you can prepare and fertilize the soil; you can plant the seeds; you can provide the needed water; you can work with someone else, or you can work alone; but, ultimately, only God can bring about the desired outcome.
I am definitely not good with plants, and maybe you aren’t either. Isn’t it wonderful that God gave us another kind of seed to plant—a seed that is meant to be planted in human hearts. God wants us to plant seeds of faith in the hearts of those who don’t yet have a relationship with Him. He wants us to plant as many seeds as we can, and He wants those seeds to be watered with encouragement and knowledge, so that each person who receives a seed of faith can grow into a committed follower of Christ.
You might be one who is asked to plant the seeds. You might be one who is asked to water and fertilize the soil. You might one who is asked to do both. It can be amazing to watch the growth of faith taking place in a new believer. But what if you don’t get to see that growth? What if you never know what happens after you plant the seeds and/or care for the soil? You might not feel like you’ve accomplished anything. You might think you aren’t good enough, and wonder what you did wrong. Don’t give up! God will take over where you leave off.
We all have something to offer. When we share our faith with others, and when we live lives that point others to Christ, we are planting seeds. When we walk beside a new believer— answering their questions, teaching them about the Scriptures, encouraging them to attend worship, and connecting them to a community of believers, we are watering and fertilizing the soil. After that, it’s time to trust God to make the seeds grow.
The world is full of people who don’t know who God is, or who don’t understand how to have a relationship with Him. Others know who God is and have turned away. They all need the seeds of faith we have to share. Are you to ready to be a gardener? Am I? It’s a big task that will require many willing workers. Let’s ask God to show us where to start.