A smiling sunflower, on a four-foot plant outside my patio door, greeted me at dawn. At its feet, several smaller plants bloomed. A garden of unplanned sunflowers made me smile.
Last summer, I planted one small sunflower. When the blooms turned brown, I pulled them off and tossed them to the sandy soil. Rain watered them. Sunlight caressed them. Winter’s cold enveloped them. I did nothing and forgot they were there.
The exquisite, but unplanned, collection of sunny blooms brings me happiness. They shine whether the day is bright or cloudy. Several times a day, I walk to the window so I can see the surprise gift.
I only threw the seeds to the ground. After that, God provided what they needed to flourish and multiply.
As Christians, we are to plant seeds. We can invite someone to church, pray for them, listen to their hurts, cry with them, share a meal, or tell them how God loves them. Opportunities come often. We never know exactly how the seeds we sow will be used.
Some seeds die. Some sprout and grow for a short time. Others germinate, thrive and produce more. At times, we are to nourish the seeds someone else has planted.
This is what the parable of the sower means. It is about the kingdom of heaven. When someone hears the story of the Kingdom and cannot understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away whatever goodness and holiness had been sown in the heart. This is like the seeds sown beside the road. You know people who hear the word of God and receive it joyfully—but then, somehow, the word fails to take root in their hearts. It is temporary. As soon as there is trouble for those people, they trip: those people are the seeds strewn on the rocky soil. And you know people who hear the word, but it is choked inside them because they constantly worry and prefer the wealth and pleasures of the world: they prefer drunken dinner parties to prayer, power to piety, and riches to righteousness. Those people are like the seeds sown among thorns. The people who hear the word and receive it and grow in it—those are like the seeds sown on good soil. They produce a bumper crop, 30 or 60 or 100 times what was sown.
(Matthew 13: 18-23 The Voice)
Jesus, show us ways we can plant seeds in this uncertain world. Also, help us also know how we are to nourish seeds planted by others so that they will know You. Amen