A Seed Story
June 14, 2010 | Seeds
By Blake Weaver
I love fruit. Apples, bananas, and grapes are my favorites. However, while enjoying my favorite fruits, I hardly ever consider the work involved in bearing this fruit. Planting seeds can be tedious, messy, and uneventful. Moreover, whether or not fruition will occur is never truly known when the fruit seed is planted. Perhaps this is why picking the fruit is often more rewarding than planting the seeds. Apple pies and banana splits are much more enjoyable than the exhausting work in the hot sun planting and cultivating the fruit trees, vines, and plants.
“Reaching the world for Christ through international Christian education” is the NICS/Oasis purpose statement, and it is rewarding to see examples of this within the classroom, on the sports field, etc. It is so sweet to see a child come to know Christ as a result of the work God is doing in a NICS/Oasis school. However, not everyone has the opportunity to “pick this fruit.” Nonetheless, everyday teachers plant seeds in NICS/Oasis classrooms all over the world. Even though this work is often hard to quantify, it is extremely meaningful. Occasionally, those that plant the seeds are able to pick the fruit. When this occurs, it is certainly worth sharing. Consider this recent example from an Oasis school:
Yesterday, I was able to tell some of you this Great News, and it just shows the impact we have on our students and His Kingdom.
Although we rejoice when the fruit is harvested, may we be constantly reminded of the significance of planting seeds. In the life of this young student, it is clearly evident that God was in charge of the fruition. Ultimately, He grew the seed and bore the fruit.
A couple months ago, one of my students stood up and told the class he wasn’t a “C” and asked for their forgiveness for not telling them. It was a very touching moment with good discussion during which half the class was in tears. Afterwards, I constantly thought about approaching him to ask him where he stood. I could see a change in him and decided I would wait longer and just watch what our Father was doing in his life.
Well, yesterday before recess he asked how you can be a better “C” if you are not a “C”, which led him to asking how you become a “C.” At recess he stayed behind, I answered his questions, we talked, I asked him some questions, and he accepted our Savior right then! We prayed and it was just an incredible moment! He wasn’t sure if he wanted to tell the other students at first, but after recess we made the announcement and had a time of prayer together in which the students could pray aloud and praise Him.
I have never actually been the one to pray with someone and reap the harvest. I have only planted seeds.
I praise our Father for how He has used teachers and classmates throughout my student’s life and how faithful our Father is. It is all Him! Also, He has revealed Himself to me in this way and reminded me that He is working in all things for His glory.
Consider the prophet Isaiah’s words when he says, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding the mater for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11). May we draw encouragement from this passage as we ponder the role that we play in the lives of our students around the world. When God’s Truth is communicated to other people, He will accomplish “the matter for which it was sent.” We can be assured that planting the seeds is equally as important as picking the fruit.
During my own tenure as a NICS student, I met and became very close friends with a classmate who was born and raised in another religion. Consequently, he embraced the faith of this religion. Many of us (including our teachers) grew to love this individual. Furthermore, we deeply desired that this person come to know Jesus Christ as his/her Savior. Through Biblical integration in the classroom and personal relationships with teachers and other Christian students, there were certainly many seeds planted in the life of this young student. However, to my knowledge this person has yet to convert to Christianity. On a personal level, this has frustrated me. I just want to pick that fruit!
Although I have not seen my good friend come to know Christ yet, I have taken solace in the fact that the seeds of the Good News were definitely planted in this person’s life. Even though I do not fully understand Isaiah’s words when He says, “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty,” I trust that God will bear the fruit that He intends. I may only be a seed planter in my friend’s life, but I am okay with that.