What seeds will you plant today?
Have you ever heard the parable about the sower and the seed? It’s an example Jesus used to talk about how people grow and become fruitful. If you’ve ever tried gardening or farming, you know you can’t expect a plant to grow if you haven’t first planted a seed. Sometimes, seeds don’t take root. And sometimes, those plants don’t shoot up when we expect them to. But nevertheless, we plant those seeds anyway and hope and pray for the best.
We live in a fast-paced world, and it often seems like enough of a struggle to take life just one day at a time. Rush through the day, rinse, repeat. But as we hustle and bustle about life, the question we must ask ourselves is: Are we sowing seeds that will bloom for ourselves and others tomorrow? The value of planting good seeds, metaphorically speaking, was shown to me this weekend in a powerful way.
I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday in western Oklahoma where I was born and raised. The best part of the trip was visiting my grandparents’ church, where they preached for nearly 30 years. They retired in 2012. They worked hard to establish New Liberty Church in Beckham County all those years ago. With volunteer labor and trust in God, they built a gleaming, grand church practically in the middle of nowhere. That church had high attendance and saw countless miracles. As one person said this weekend, much has been done for the Kingdom of God in that place. My grandparents have always been faithful, hardworking people, and their life was not easy. My mom, aunt and uncle talk about how hard time were growing up; money and ministry don’t often go together.
They had what they needed, but they lived no life of luxury. And despite the fact that they loved and helped people as much as God allowed, they often saw the ugly side of humanity. In building the church and keeping it open, my grandparents dedicated their work to God, sought His guidance and gave Him the glory for what happened. Their obedience, trust and love resulted in a spectacular building and a truly wonderful, loving congregation of disciples. When my grandparents retired from the church, it went through a period of low attendance. Drawing people to the middle of nowhere on Sunday morning is hard, especially these days.
For the last nine years, the church’s pastor has made incredible sacrifices to keep the doors open. He wouldn’t allow the gorgeous sanctuary to become a hay barn.
He, too, prayed and sought God’s intervention. From afar, my family and I were saddened that so few people were experiencing what God had in store for them at New Liberty. But despite the seemingly gloomy-looking circumstances, little did we know that the seeds my grandparents, the congregation and the remaining church members planted through fervent prayer and obedience were still growing.
And now, for the first time in years, New Liberty Church is growing and seeing revival. It’s quite a remarkable sight to see a church growing in 2022. When I was there Sunday, even though several people were gone because of illness, the crowd was big, and the presence of God was bigger. The green and white-colored sanctuary was filled with brightness of life and joy unspeakable as people worshipped God with open hearts. It was a beautiful sight.
The folks who know oversee the non-denominational church credit today’s success, in part, to the seeds that were sown all those years ago. Even though we didn’t see the plants rising up for several years, today, the works that God established more than 30 years ago are blooming. And they’ll only rise up more from here.
Not everyone is meant to start a church, but we’re all here on this earth for a reason. Above all, that reason should be to serve others and love others with all our hearts. That seems hard to do when we’re focused on checking off to-do lists and staying occupied with our 9-to-5s. But if we’d take just a few moments – just a few moments – each day to sow a seed in our lives or someone else’s, imagine how much better off our world would be.
Here are a few simple seeds we can all sow today for free: Greeting a stranger and say hello, complimenting someone on how beautiful they are, offering to help someone load groceries in their car at the store, calling a friend or shut-in to check up on them and spending just a little bit of time looking at how beautiful the outdoors are. These are all seeds we can plant. When they take off, our lives will be much, much more beautiful. They may not bloom right away, and we may not be the ones to reap the reward. But someone somewhere will, and that’s a thought worth thinking about. What seeds are you going to plant today?
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