I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. (1 Corinthians 3:6)
It was the kind of busy season where you find yourself wearing two different shoes all day but don’t notice until someone points it out. The kind of season where you feel lost in the shuffle of the schedule and you aren’t sure which way is up.
It was in that sort of season that a friend chose to invest in my life. Amid the reality of mismatched shoes and the brain fog that accompanies parenting small children, my friend identified a gift he saw in me and provided a way for that gift to be uncovered.
He saw a hunger in me for God’s Word, so he and his wife sent me to a Bible Study facilitator training in a nearby town. There were no stipulations on their gift, except that I use what I learned as God led. They knew I was a busy mama, and there was no guarantee when my schedule would allow me to teach others, but they felt this was a worthy investment in the Kingdom.
Like a farmer who sows seed, my friend exercised faith in planting this little seed in my life, praying it would produce a harvest one day.
Years went by before an opportunity arose to lead college students through a study of the book of Genesis. This inauguration led to more opportunities, scattered across the years. With each conversation, class, workshop, or article written, the seed grew roots that reached deep and wide.
What started out as seed money of sorts, steadily multiply as more and more lives were nourished by its fruit.
And now, almost ten years later, the tools gleaned from that original training are being published as part of a Bible Study by a leading publisher.
Little did my friend or I know what would happen with the seed that was planted. But much can come from our choice to plant hope in others. Yes, it costs us to invest in people, whether through money, time, or a timely word . . . but I believe it’s worth it.
Like my friend, I want to be an open-handed seed planter. One who notices and voices the gifts in others and is willing to get her hands dirty in order to help unearth those gifts.
We plant, another waters, and the results of our sowing are up to God.
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Dear God, thank You for those who have the courage to call out the gifts and talents in those around them. Help us to be those kind of people too. The kind that don’t put stipulations on the growth but sow in faith, praying that You will bring a harvest in Your timing and way. Thank You that You are in the fruit multiplying business and that You tend to the seeds within, even when we are blinded by busyness or wearing two different kinds of shoes. Help us to be faithful with the seeds You’ve entrusted to us as we watch them take root, reaching deeper and wider than we could have imagined. Amen.