by Pastor Nikki Ragush
Although this blog may sound like it will be about the excitement of spring and the beautiful flowers that blossom, I will admit quickly that I am not a gardener. I appreciate the smell, and look of beautiful flowers but have no desire to plant any myself. We live today in a society where we have been taught to appreciate instant gratification. If we need an answer to any question it is at most of our finger tips as we quickly pull out our smart phones and type in the question, or for some of us we simply ask our wonderful friend Siri. We are at a time in our culture where waiting for anything causes anxiety, frustration, anger, and grumbling. This is all to say, I would rather see the blossoming of a flower than be the one to plow the ground, plant it, water it, protect it, etc. I’m going to make the assumption that most people enjoy seeing the end product more than the actual doing of the work, sometimes the only thing that keeps us on task is the thought of the end product.
Recently, I have not been able to get away from the Lord reminding me of this passage.
1 Corinthians 3:6-9,
“6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
God continues to teach me in life how important it is to listen to what Paul is saying in this moment. Many times in life I have been involved in people’s lives through school, sports, and youth group and later wondered what happened to them. Sometimes the stories are expected and encouraging, I see someone pursuing God’s calling just as I suspected. Other times the stories are unexpected, seeing them go down a path of unfortunate hurt and hearing their cries of “Why me, God?” But there is another group that I must not forget, those unexpected stories that encourage me. Those stories where I realize that my job the entire time with them was not to watch them grow, or even to water them, with some it was to plant a seed and others it was the step before that of ploughing the ground.
Paul is giving some warning here, and I think it is important for each one of us to listen to what He says, “But only God, makes things grow.” We must be humble of the work we are doing if we see growth take that as encouragement however it is God who has grown it. If we don’t see growth, don’t be discouraged because it is still God who will grow it. If no one plows the ground then no one can plant, if no one plants the person who waters it has no job, if the seed is never watered then it will not grow. So although Paul is giving a warning to us He also is giving an encouragement, “fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). Even when there is no growth, “let us not become weary in doing good” (Galatians 6:9). God has called us to be co-workers in His mission, let us celebrate with one another on the victories that come in our journey, and encourage each other to pursue God’s purpose for us at each moment of our lives.