Are You Confident that Your Seeds Will Grow?

Are you confident that your seeds will grow? I'm not talking about the kind your plant in a garden, but the kind you plant in relationships. #seeds #harvest #relationships #teacher

I’m starting to really resent the word ‘seeds.’ As in, “We might never know the results of the seeds we planted.” It’s a phrase the grates at my soul these past few weeks. If you’ve ever been part of a short-term mission trip, a church plant, or children’s ministry, you’ve probably heard the phrase, too.

I don’t like it. The end of January walloped our school family like a bad case of the ‘flu. Students made poor choices, and all of us felt the effects. After all, by this time of the school year, we feel like family. And when one family member hurts, we all feel prickles of pain.

Are you confident that your seeds will grow? I'm not talking about the kind your plant in a garden, but the kind you plant in relationships. #seeds #harvest #relationships #teacher

When students stick around for years, we see slow but steady growth—mental, academic, physical, and most of all, spiritual. It takes time, but we see what happens to our seeds. But sometimes, they don’t stay. They feel grafted into our lives with their sweet hugs, funny conversations, and heart-wrenching stories.

When the graft fails, the tree feels bereft. We’ve cried over kids and talked ourselves into knots trying to understand. We replay every conversation and wonder if we said too much, or said too little. Did we listen for the Holy Spirit before opening our mouths?

Someone brings up Matthew 9:37. “I’m tired of hearing about seeds. I want to see some harvest.” And when I think back over my teaching life, I realize that it has never felt like a plentiful harvest. Maybe it’s the field I work in.

Grieving Seeds

As I hugged my students goodbye, the promise in Isaiah 55:11 vibrated through my arms.

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:11 NIV

Tears battled behind my eyelids but I swallowed them back and waved one last goodbye. “You know how to reach me. You’re always welcome in our home.”

As I trudged down the steps and back to my car, I clung to the verse in Philippans 1:6. God used me—us—to begin a good work. To plant seeds. God gives me the task of living life alongside those in my circle. Words and deeds fall like little seeds into the lives of those hungry for love.

God uses my words and deeds to fall like little seeds into the lives of those hungry for love. #fmfparty Click To Tweet

But I am not the wind, nor the rain, nor the sun. I have to remain confident that God, who began the good work in my students, will carry it on to completion. To some goes the honor of harvesting, to others the honor of planting. We work together—the body of Christ—to plant love and hope in a loveless and hopeless world.

I remain confident. Even if I don’t like the word seeds.

This post is part of the Five-Minute Friday quick write hosted by Kate Moutang. Join us each Thursday night on Twitter (#FMFParty) for fun and fellowship, then grab a pen and start writing when the prompt goes live!

12 Comments

  1. Beautiful thoughtful and moving post, Anita.

    I’ve been busy planting seeds
    whose growth I will not see.
    I just hope that God leads
    each to be a tree.
    That’s a metaphor, of course,
    I’m really planting words
    that I hope become the source
    in some for cool hearts stirred.
    I hope the bloom of hope will break
    through the barren stone,
    that a deep root it’ll take;
    and you’re not in this alone.
    I won’t be here in coming days
    but I hope for YOU – always.

  2. Thank you, Anita. You have given me hope and encouragement in a week when some of my patients have left me emotionally drained. It’s made me realise they are thirsty for love, even if what we offer is never enough for them – but, of course not, only God’s love is enough. However, I can keep serving, not knowing but trusting that my deeds will be like seeds falling in their lives even if I never see any results.
    (I haven’t posted yet this week but you’ve given me plenty to think about).
    Liz recently posted…BREAKING NEWSMy Profile

  3. Unless a seed… you know the rest of that and I am confident in saying that seeds really do matter. Because the seed is that which “God begins a good work in you and will see it to completion.” Have confidence that what YOU and HIS did matters. And, I am going to trust for you (because you’re unable to do it yourself right now) that all those seeds (and you planted many) will eventually sprout and live. Heaven will prove. xoxo

  4. Oh how my teacher’s heart is touched by your words. I remember the times after the children had gone home and the janitor had turned out the lights, my colleagues and I would sit in the darkened hallway and question our effectiveness at “planting seeds” in our kids and longing to see the harvest! I carried that longing home with me and even now in retirement I pray I made a difference. I know you’ve been through a challenging and sad time. My thoughts are with you! You are doing God’s important work and I know He’s working through you everyday! And not just with your students and family but with those of us who benefit from your wise writing! Thank you for sharing your heart!

  5. I often hold onto the verse from Isaiah 55 as well. I won’t use the “s” word, but may you soon see the sprouts of your faithfulness and care. FMF14

  6. anita, one of the joys and comforts of this sage of life, is seeing the growth of seeds. i didn’t plant them all, but i planted a few. i have heard the back stories of a lot of people over the years. a number of them were kids who were kicked out of schools for mistakes they made. it got their attention and GOD used those things in their lives to change them. it is always interesting to learn how and what GOD used to change people along the way.
    the surprises to me have been the ones i would never have expected to flourish did. and the ones i expected to do great, often didn’t. the final outcomes are often a surprise. and that is a good thing!

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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