"What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, as the Lord has assigned to each his role. I planted the seed and Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. He who plants and he who waters are one in purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building." ~ 1 Corinthians 3:5-9 (BSB)
What an important lesson this is.
I can plant the seeds, I can water them, I can tend them, weed them, keep an eye out.
But, only our Father in Heaven, the Creator, can make them grow.
This is true in so many areas of life.
Whether it's our finances, our willingness to share faith with others, or even a garden itself, all we can do is plant the seed and be faithful in our tending and watering.
It is according to His Will, whether or not it shall grow.
So often, we may never see the metaphoric bountiful results pictured above, but our Father sees and knows. He knows every seed you've planted, every prayer you've uttered in the dark of night, every small sprout of hope you've watered with faithful care, or even with Living Water.
Speaking of prayer...
I once came across a delightful fable that seems appropriate to share just now.
From the first time I heard this, it grafted itself to my being and has shaped my prayers ever since. I am sorry I cannot relay to you its origins, but here it is...
"I need oil," said an ancient monk, so he planted an olive sapling. "Lord," he prayed, "it needs rain that its tender roots may drink and swell. Send gentle showers. "Lord," prayed the monk, "my tree needs sun. Send sun, I pray thee." And the sun shone, gilding the dripping clouds. "Now frost, my Lord, to brace its tissues," cried the monk. And behold, the little tree stood sparkling with frost.
Then the monk sought the cell of a brother monk, and told his strange experience. "I, too, planted a little tree," he said, "and see! It thrives well. But I entrust my tree to its God. He who made it knows better what it needs than a man like me. I laid no condition. I fixed not ways or means. "Lord, send what it needs," I prayed, "storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost. Thou hast made it and Thou dost know."
And so it is...
We plant our seeds in the heart of another, in our finances, in the very soil. We tend them, we do our human best to co-labor well, but only He knows what will thrive and what was never meant to be.
Whether for man or olive tree, the best prayer we can offer is something akin to...
Heavenly Father, You know far better than I do what is needed. You are the Creator of all things, and all beings. Thank You, for granting what is needed in this life/situation. We pray Your Will and Your provision, Your Way. We surrender them/it to you always, in always. Help me to plant and tend and reap, as You would have me do. And, thank You for helping me to leave the rest to you. All these things I pray in the most holy name of Your Son.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people. Remember that the Lord will give you as a reward what he has kept for his people. For Christ is the real Master you serve." ~ Colossians 3:23-24 (GNT)
"Then the LORD reached out and touched my mouth and said, 'Look, I have put my words in your mouth! Today I appoint you... you must build up and plant.'" ~ Jeremiah 1:9-10 (NLT) (Okay, yes, taken a little out of context, but the point serves.)
"But thisI say:He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully." ~ 2 Corinthians 9:6 (NKJV)
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.
Bonus song of praise... ♥