I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. ! Corinthians 3:6-9
I’ve got a gray thumb when it comes to gardening. It’s not fully black since I successfully brought my $3 mum from Aldi back from near death (thank you very much!!), but no one would say I have a green thumb. Gardening just isn’t my thing. I never know how deep to plant the seeds, how often to water, when to repot or any of the plant things. My mom tried to teach me, but this just wasn’t on my “things to care about” list. In fact, if I could pave my front and back yard and remove all grass from my property I probably would. [I should note, my sister-in-law is a licensed arborist which I find beautifully ironic; God makes us all so different!]
I do know a few things - nothing will grow if a seed isn’t first planted. Water and sunlight are needed to provide nutrition. If the plant receives what it needs, it will grow and thrive.
This idea of God giving the growth is not a surprising concept for those of us who are believers. We know that with God nothing is impossible. We know that it is only God working through us that produces anything good and fruitful. However, I often forget this truth in the day to day living to be perfectly honest.
When someone else is able to get my son to do something that he won’t do for me I take it as a failure on my part. When my daughter is precious and silly for everyone at church but is an opinionated diva for me I tend to wonder where I’ve gone wrong. When I see peers successful in ministry and doing the things I want to do, its very easy for me to question why not me. I see all the planting I’ve done. I see all the watering that I’ve taken the time to do. But it isn’t about me at all. My kids aren’t about me. My passion for hospitality isn’t about me. My love for speaking, and writing isn’t about me. The number of likes and shares doesn’t define my success. Whether or not my son knows lots of Bible verses or my daughter sings “Jesus loves me” doesn’t define true growth. It’s important that I put in the time to plant seeds of truth. It’s important that I foster spiritual growth in others. It’s important that I use the skills and talents that God has equipped me with to share his truth with those around me. However, it is God alone who gives the growth. What a refreshing thought! My obedience + God = Growth. This equation takes away any competition or comparison!
This week, let’s take the pressure off! We are all on an equal playing field. I’ll plant. You can water. Someone else may reap. It’s ok!! We are fellow workers. It’s not me against you or us against them. It’s each of us, doing what we can with what we have. It’s us being obedient to God and watching him create beautiful things!