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!