By Roxanne Drury
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 have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. – 1 Corinthians 3:6-8
These words are rich with meaning for the Christian, a follower of Christ.
They remind us of the privilege and responsibility we have to plant seeds of faith in the lives of the people we meet as well as the people in our own homes and families. However, what happens with those seeds is not in our control. God controls that. Paul says here, “God makes the seeds grow.” That takes some of the load off our shoulders, but we still have the responsibility of planting and watering those seeds.
I recently planted some zinnia seeds around the base of a crabapple tree in the backyard. I broke up the soil, pulled the weeds, drew lines in the soil with my finger, dropped the seeds carefully into those ruts in the soil, and then gently covered the seeds with the fine soil I had just tilled. Was my work done? No, of course not. As you may have guessed, after preparing the way for the seeds and planting them, I watered the ground where the seeds were planted. And every day I have watered and watched, waiting to see some sprouts. Today, after about 10 days, I am finally seeing those little seedlings popping out of the ground. It takes time and patience. It takes effort.
Here’s another scenario. Last summer, I planted snapdragons, lots of them, in the pots on my patio. At the end of the season, as they died off, instead of just plucking the dried plants out of the soil and tossing them, I first sprinkled the seeds from inside the blossoms onto the soil in each pot. Fall came and then winter, which brought along with it some snow, and then the spring sunshine and the rains followed. Guess what I see popping up in all of my pots? Loads and loads of little seedling snapdragons.
Are you getting the point here? Without planting, there is no harvest. Think about that in terms of the kids in your home or your church or family members or even your neighbors. When kids see us reading our Bible or hear us praying, that’s planting seeds. When you invite your child to grab his or her Bible and read with you, that’s watering what you have already planted. When your family members or neighbors hear you give God credit for His provision, that’s planting seeds. When you, in turn, provide for your neighbors or family members’ needs, that’s watering what you have already planted. We don’t know what God has planned for any of these people, but we do know that He promises that He will grow the seeds that we plant.
That’s why it is so important to keep planting and keep watering seeds of faith in the people we know and love. It matters! It matters in the lives of those people and it matters to God’s kingdom.
To demonstrate the magnitude of planting seeds, here’s what I’d like you to do. (You can do this yourself if you have an apple handy.) Imagine that I am cutting an apple in half. Inside, I see the yellowish apple flesh, and in the center, I see several apple seeds. Now, imagine that I am removing one seed – just one – carefully and gently. I hold the dark tiny apple seed in the palm of my hand and notice the stark color contrast against my skin. Can you see it? Look closely. I can plant this one seed. And I can water it regularly and we know that God will make a tree grow from that lone seed. What we don’t know is how many apples will grow on that tree. We don’t know how many more seeds will be planted and watered from those apples. We don’t know how many more trees God will grow from those seeds. And it goes on and on and on.
Planting seeds of faith perpetuates the growth of God’s kingdom, as people become followers of Jesus. It perpetuates lifestyles that honor and obey God. It perpetuates goodness, kindness, and love in our homes, our neighborhoods, and the world.
My father-in-law painted a picture of an overturned wire milk crate that was tossed aside in his garden. Straining to grow through the small wire openings on the top of the crate were four tulips in full bloom, reaching for the sun’s warm rays. I believe people are reaching – more now than ever before – for God’s warm, loving embrace. We can be planting and watering seeds of faith that God will grow into beautiful blossoms or maybe even tall towering oaks of righteousness for His glory (referencing Isaiah 61:3b).
So, each time you see a flower bloom, let it be a sweet reminder of the tremendous privilege and responsibility we have to plant seeds of faith in the lives of people we know. Why? Because it matters! Eternally.
Roxanne Drury is a wife, mother, grandmother, and retired Christian preschool teacher with a teaching certificate in Early Childhood Education. She has served the Lord in children’s ministry for over 40 years and is currently on staff at Rockharbor Church. Her heart is sharing the life application found in God’s Word. She recently published her first children’s book titled, “Beyond the Blue.” The book is a descriptive biblical look at heaven that answers questions kids have and offers parents a tool to talk to their kids about Jesus. She also writes a Christian blog. For more information, visit thatslifemissroxanne.blogspot.com or www.roxannedrury.com.