“It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.” — 1 Corinthians 3:7 (NLT)
I know I shouldn’t have prayed for patience! Early in my Christian life, I had learnt that patience was one of the Spiritual fruits. And, boy, did I need to cultivate that fruit!
So, I prayed for patience … only to learn from one of the teachings I heard at my church that often when you pray that God will give you some characteristic or other, He will often lead you into situations that allow that characteristic to grow in you.
Aaaaargh! I needed patience, and I needed it now! I didn’t need more opportunities to develop patience, or more opportunities to display my patience, or more opportunities where patience was needed – I had plenty of those already! I just needed patience!
Of course, I laugh a little at this now, later in my Christian walk when I have – I hope – developed a little of the Spiritual fruit of patience. But even today, I realise that I still need more opportunities to grow.
And that opportunity came when I started, after many years without having attempted this, to grow my own plants. I have always enjoyed fresh herbs and in the past had enjoyed growing my own herbs. I cannot profess to be a very good gardener – no green fingers on my hands – especially when it comes to having patience, as I was soon to discover.
You see, I came home one day armed with everything I needed to grow my own herbs. The seeds, the compost, the containers; all I had to do was to follow all the instructions … and … wait. And that’s when it got harder.
Every morning, I used to get up, check to see if there was any growth yet, and add a little water if the soil was too dry. Every morning. Day after day … after day. Nothing was happening! I thought, maybe I have over-watered the soil, maybe I had bought faulty seed, maybe the compost wasn’t right. Never, maybe I just have to wait! No! I just wanted the seeds to grow!
I could sense that I was just getting a bit impatient, and I remembered my earlier prayers! But, I just couldn’t wait! I was at the point of just putting the compost back in the bag, and go out to buy new seed the next day. That was my plan. Start again. Follow the instructions again. I must have done something wrong, or the seed is no good.
And then, the following morning, when I got up and went to look at the container – there it was! Totally unexpected! I just expected to see the same old soil and the same old container, and I would just have to start over again. But no, there was the first sign of life, just peeking out of the soil. Just the one single seedling, tentatively raising its head above the level of the soil and seeking the sun.
How amazing! I was truly overjoyed, and I have been overjoyed since as I have seen many more breaking the surface and seeking the sun. It reminded me of the Bible verse:
It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.
— 1 Corinthians 3:7 (NLT)
Thank God for the truth in that verse! It was not my doing, although I had done the planting and the watering. The seed grew at God’s behest – in His time and for His glory. Praise the Lord!
As Christians, we are often sowing seeds of the Kingdom, sharing testimony, inviting people to church meetings, praying for those in need, sharing messages of hope, encouraging others to seek God and to recognise that He is who everyone needs at times of stress and distress. And we look for the day that they, too, will raise their heads above the soil of their daily grind to seek the Son – Jesus – and know that He is the Hope of all the world. But we need to accept that whilst we do the sowing and the watering, “God makes the seed grow.”
May we pray: Thank You, heavenly Father, for the gift of patience. Thank You that sometimes when we ask for something, you give us opportunities to grow. Help us to keep sowing the seeds of the Kingdom, and give us the patience to keep sowing and watering, even when we cannot see the results. We ask this in the precious name of our Saviour, Christ Jesus; Amen.
We would love to hear your response to this message – please get in touch, or leave a comment on this page or on social media. May God Bless You.
Have you had your copy of ‘DARE to Hope!’ yet? You can download it here.