“And He (Jesus) said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.'” (Mark 4:26-29 ESV)
It’s difficult planting seeds with an impatient child. There you are, planting carrots or watermelon or morning glories together. You cover the seeds with soil, water the ground gently, and go inside to wash your hands together. Then the questions start: “How long till my seeds sprout?” A little later, “Do you think they’re growing roots now?” A bit later still: “How about now, are they growing yet?” If you’re not careful, the child will be out there with a shovel to check on their progress!
Adults can be like that, too. When we share the Gospel of Jesus with someone, we hope to see results right away. “Is my friend going to believe what I told him?” we wonder. “How about today, will she ask me how she can get baptized?” It’s easy to understand why we are so eager to see people we love come to faith, but it would be a disaster if we started digging around in their lives, poking the Gospel seeds to see if they are growing yet!
Against our impatience, Jesus points us to the example of a farmer. Farmers plant grain and leave it alone. They don’t go back every three minutes to see if it’s growing yet; they don’t dig it up to check. They know that as they live their lives, doing all the other chores that exist on a farm, that seed will be growing. It will be putting out roots and sending up shoots. Day by day, so slowly that we can’t see it happening, the seed will grow. And in the end, there will be a wonderful harvest.
If you are praying for someone you love to come to trust in Jesus, remember your own growth. It didn’t happen overnight. Two thousand years ago God planted Jesus, a single solitary seed of life, into the barren ground of this world. And now, so long after His death and resurrection—now we can see the harvest approaching, as billions and billions of people trust in Him.
Prayer: Lord, help me to trust Your Gospel to grow in the hearts of the people with whom I share it. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Reprinted with permission from Lutheran Hour Ministries
1. Are you a patient or impatient person? In what areas of life?
2. When have you tried to force something to happen prematurely?
3. Does it help to realize that God will make His Gospel grow in the lives of people, through His own power and not yours?