“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6)
The letter arrived in December. “My name is [John Doe] and in 1991 you were the Judge handling my case…The purpose of this letter is simply to say, thank you…Recently I have been overwhelmed with gratitude for what God has done in my life, and the people He placed in my life during that period of time to assist me with the help I so desperately needed.”
One of the affirming parts of my job is the feedback I receive from people who have struggled through a difficult season in their life. They want to let me know that I had a positive influence in moving past their hard times. We all love stories with happy endings, particularly when you may have had a part in that story, so I appreciate those letters but also recognize that I was only one small part of that continuum that Paul recognized in the quote at the top.
God repeatedly in his Word reminds us of the importance of planting seeds. You will find numerous references to agricultural metaphors used to describe life in relation to God. We read about sowing, cultivating, growing, harvesting and other analogies to our lives through the seed and plant concept. Here are a couple quick takes, “fresh from the farm”, for your consideration.
We cannot know, for sure, the outcome of the seeds we plant. The parable of the sower illustrates the point. However, the fact that some seeds do not take root does not mean planting a seed is ever a waste of time or effort. God honors our effort, but it is up to the seed and God to decide whether growth will occur.
It is rare that only one seed will need to be sown. Parables and metaphors only go so far in helping us see the heavenly point. We know with actual seeds we will only reap one plant per seed. On the other hand, when we talk about the growth of people, many seeds are needed for growth and, in particular, for one’s growth in Jesus.
God works through us to bring change and growth to others. Do you approach each day and each person with the intention and goal of planting some kind of seed, however small it may be? If you do, then rest assured that God will work, as he sees fit, with that seed.
Plant some seeds today. Let God give the growth.
(read the full letter here)