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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Grass Roots Lessons

This summer, we had a tree removed from our front yard. After clearing out all of the wood chips, we were left with a giant hole in the ground. We filled the hole with dirt and proceeded to plant some seed. I went to the store and bought the stuff that's supposed to grow quickly. I spent an entire afternoon trying to develop a yard with grass. (While our driveway, with no effort at all, seems to be overtaken with grass.)

It's been two weeks. I've watered religiously. I've mowed around the green mulchy patches. I'm now starting to wonder, Is grass ever going to grow there? I've read the seed bag about 4 times to make sure I didn't mess it up.

Just last week, while mowing, I was very tempted to just plow right over these patches. They seemed to be just mocking me, my effort, and even my faith that grass would grow. There have been nights where I've questioned whether I should even water. I even thought about how upset I will be if the water bill is higher, yet the yard is still bare.

Then, just this morning, I noticed something. There are small, thin shoots of grass starting to come out of these spots. Evidently, things were happening below the surface that I couldn't see.

Know where I'm going?

Paul reminds us, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.

About three weeks ago, I started to question some things. I've been trying to share my faith more, and have been having some very solid conversations with people. However, none of these conversations have led to conventional "success stories." I started to hear that whisper: What's the point? No one is changing? Your methods obviously don't seem to be working. I've been telling our church to focus on being faithful to the gospel message, trusting God to do the work, and I was starting to wonder about it myself.

Graciously, God has given me a couple of conversations lately that remind me that 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 is just as true today. I heard about a man tonight who trusted Christ because of a tract. I recently heard about a woman who refused to date a nonbeliever (instead giving him the explanation why she couldn't along with a tract). The man became a believer (and not for the girl, for they never dated) and is walking faithfully with the Lord since. I've had a couple of conversations lately that show that watering has happened, people are thinking. It's generated an urgency in me (one man called it "fire in the belly" this Sunday).

I'm shocked how quickly I want to drop biblical evangelism for something that might generate better results. I know better (I've blogged against it), yet the draw is still there. Perhaps if I pressure them more. Maybe if I don't bring up the sin issue. Could I promise them something that Jesus doesn't really offer them? Yet if Paul can't force an increase, how could I? I pray that God forgive me for ever doubting His Word.

I may never have a thick yard, but I'll keep casting out seed. I pray that I'll faithfully sow The Seed as well.


  • At 6:37 PM, Blogger BReformed said…

    Pity those who are content to sow fast growing weeds that look green at first and then uglier-than-sin after they've grown.

    You are sowing good Seed. I think you will have a healthy Yard. I look forward to sitting on your porch with you when you are 70 and looking at it.

  • At 8:05 AM, Blogger TheReformedThinker said…

    Not only sowing good seed, you are also encouraging fellow believers by your faithfullness in witnessing. There have been a couple of times recently when I felt God's lead to witness to someone but I didn't want to. Then I felt the subtle reminder of your sowing of the good seed, which encouraged me to do the same.

  • At 8:28 AM, Blogger danny2 said…


    i hope at 70 that you and i are not "admiring" the yard, but still toiling in the ground, continue to sow!


    thanks for that encouragement. wow!


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