Every year my mom plants a garden. It’s become somewhat of a ritual for me to help her till the soil and watch as she carefully prepares a host of fruit and vegetable seeds to populate the rows of black dirt. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, watermelons, and the like soon sprout up and carry out their God-given mandate to bring forth a harvest. Soon they’ll make their way into soups, casseroles, fruit medleys, and all manner of delicious dishes. I don’t get to eat them all, of course. My mother’s generosity blesses our church family as well. I am always glad to see the fruits of our labor, pardon the pun. What I’ve come to notice as I grow older is that I am simply a part of the process. I help to plant the seed, but I’m not always around when the harvest is ready.
The Lord spoke to Noah after the Great Flood and assured him that agriculture wasn’t going anywhere. Genesis 8:22 (ESV) promises, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” In thinking how God so often illustrates supernatural things for us using the natural world, I’m reminded of my friend “Fish” (Fisher is his last name). I went to junior college with a wild, fun-loving guy who played on the tennis team with me. He would often remark that I was “missing out” on some of the fun activities when I would turn down invites to less-than-wholesome adventures. After I transferred to Texas State, God continued to work in my life… and, unbeknownst to me, also in his. I ran into Fish a couple years back at an Easter celebration, and his entire life had been transformed. He related to me that he had marveled at the peace I had in my relationship with Jesus, and it played a part in his journey to finding Christ. He now lives a fruitful life and we occasionally catch up on all that God is doing in his life. I can’t take credit for bring Fish to know the Lord, but I see now that God used me to plant a seed.
Our time in Chi Alpha holds so many great memories. I’m sure you all have fun recollections of bible studies, retreats, and gatherings that will stay with you for a lifetime. I’d like to encourage you to trust God with the seeds that you may not have seen blossom. Perhaps you prayed for someone you knew on campus to come to Christ, or you invested in a vision that hasn’t yet come to fruition. God knows what He’s doing, and in due season His word always brings a harvest. I want to challenge you to continue sowing into your local campus ministry, and pray over the campus pastors. They see an influx of young souls every semester, and they till the soil so they can plant the seeds. We may not be around when the harvest is ready, but we know God always bears fruit. Fish and I reconnected at an Easter celebration, which is the greatest reminder that The Word was planted in the ground, and three days later He sprouted up, and the harvest continues to this day.
Happy Easter, Friends.
Be Blessed and Encouraged!