Mark – God is On Our Side!
I am not a great farmer of bodacious crops. I only plant baby plants from what others have started from seed in little individual cups. I do not have big machinery to do what I do. I have a small shovel and rake. I do plant a few seeds in fertile soil that has been prepared well because I know that our hard clay soil will not support a plant for long unless we put down good soil to feed it. Our soil is just too hard for the roots to go deep. Once all this work is done…I wait for growth.
It is fascinating to me to watch plants grow, bloom, and produce fruit. Most plants do it again and again until the fall freeze comes and puts everything to “rest”. My part has been done. The earth takes over and does what I cannot do–make it grow. Yes, we can aid the growth, but we do not cause the growth. We later reap the harvest for our efforts without really knowing how a seed dies in the earth to then produce a new plant. What a marvelous mystery!
Is that part of what Jesus is telling us through this next parable, this side story of planting and growing?
Mark 4, NLT
Parable of the Growing Seed
26 Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. 28 The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. 29 And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”
GOING DEEPER STILL…
The first parable reminds us that we cannot make the seed grow; in fact, we cannot even explain how it grows. There is a mystery to the growth of the seed and the development of the harvest. It takes a good deal of faith to be a farmer, and also a good deal of patience. In the parable of the sower and the soils, the Lord suggested that much of the seed scattered would fall on unproductive soil. This fact could discourage His workers; so, in this parable, He reassured them “in due season we shall reap if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9).
“…You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”
Gal 6:7-10, NLT
We join God in HIS work. Most times, God’s ways are a mystery to us. Wise planters don’t question His motives when we realize HE is God and we are not. HE knows best and we do not. We plant when and where HE tells us to plant. HE shows us how to plant. But the growth of each individual person (seed) is up to God and that seed.
We don’t know exactly how it happens, but it happens. We can not force the rhythm and flow of God’s grace and mercy. So we don’t give up, we go where God tells us to go and continue to plant those seeds of faith through His Word and direction of His Holy Spirit. We live stronger and better each day as we allow God growth in us! As we mature, we begin to bear God’s fruit which are the behavioral characteristics that were shown in Jesus Christ our example:
“…the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23, NLT
Be patient. Watch and wait for growth. But keep planting and serving while waiting! Rejoice when growth happens! Give the glory to God who makes all grow.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You created us to love you. You created us to grow in Your ways. You are God and we are not. We are amazed when we see growth in our lives as well as in the lives of those we brought to You! Why are we amazed? This is how it supposed to work! We plant. You grow us. You even tell us where to plant and how to provide the environment for all of us to grow in ways that bear fruit…but YOU do the growing from the inside out and outside in. And for that we are grateful! Continue to transform and grow me.
In Jesus Name, Amen