EVEN WHEN I’VE WALKED AWAY
And he 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 4:26-28
Get ready. This parable is comforting. If you need peace that the spiritual seeds you have sown in someone else are still at work, even in your absence, this message is for you.
I often believe that I need to nag others to do the right thing and that if reminded enough times, they will make that behavior their own. Nagging doesn’t change anyone as it just causes them to modify behavior.
I’m so glad that the Word of God can truly transform way beyond the effects of nagging. When sown into a person’s heart, it works in secret. God promises that the seed will sprout, then grow into a blade, then blossom into an ear, until one day it is ripe for harvest. Humanly speaking, I never see it working when it’s in the tender stages of early growth. Yet Jesus wants to relate the nature of the combustible seed of the Word of God. He message is this ~ I can count on its power.
If I’ve planted seeds into the heart of my children, those seeds are still at work. “Oh, but I don’t see any signs of change,” you might say. No matter. The over-arching message of Jesus’ words is that the one who sows won’t see evidence. The root of our confidence is not in our ability to sow but in the power of the seed. God oversees the process and transformation belongs to God alone.
I am given a window of time with each person in my life. With my children, it’s the first eighteen years. With a spouse, it’s longer. With a friend, there is usually a small window. I plant the seed faithfully when there is proximity. That access may one day end and I may become discouraged that my ability to effect change is over. Oh no! The seeds I’ve sown by the power of the Spirit are still in there, still at work, still stirring up the soil and bringing holy conflict. The one I love may be out of my sight but the Word is more active than it’s ever been.
I can be comforted when I, as of yet, see little or no harvest. While I sleep, the seeds are working. While I pray for them long distance, the seeds are germinating in the soil of their heart. My prayers of joyful confidence water the seeds, even from far away.
I forget how thunderous Your Word sounds in the soil of a man’s heart. What has been sown, You will faithfully cultivate and in that, I rest. In Jesus’ name, Amen