Seeds and Water .....
I was born in 1938, while my parents were living in Calumet City, IL. A suburb of Chicago, Cal City had a smarmy reputation, well deserved, but it was a terrific place to grow up.
Among other things, whatever racial tolerance I have today, I learned there, amid the largely Polish, Italian, Jewish and Catholic population (the city of 13,800 had several dozen Catholic churches).
After my Freshman year in High School, dad's job took us to Indianapolis, where Mom & Dad had been raised. The house in the photo above is where we landed when we moved, in May of 1953.
My first glimpse of the home, as we first approached it, was from just about the position in the photo. And what I saw then bears little resemblance to what you see in the picture. The house has been painted, the garage moved, the driveway is totally new, and much other plant growth has occurred..
When we first saw him, Dad was mowing the front yard ... with a motorized sickle bar ... the yard being quite long with grass and weeds. Also there were two saplings, lying on the ground, little bigger around than my thumb.
A few days later, I helped dad plant them.
Those saplings are, today, the two biggest trees in the photo.
Trivial fact: The house to the right of ours was owned by Ed Tudor, owner of Regency Electronics, They manufactured the world's first Transistor Radio, in 1954, after developing it in partnership with Radio Shack.
The trees grew because, most directly, Dad and I planted them ... as had the landscaper from whom Dad bought them. Subsequently, God fed them and watered them.
For 65 years.
The photo reminded me of what the Apostle Paul said to the church at Corinth, in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7:
"I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave growth. So then neither the one who plants, nor the one who waters, is anything, but only God Who gives the growth."
We are, in our humanity, eager to see the results of that we do, here on earth, in the Lord's service. But I am forced to ask: Is God less diligent in what He does, in response to what we do for Him here on earth, than He is with two saplings planted by a Dad and his 14-years-old son?
I don't think so! In fact, He has promised that if we plant and water, He will give the growth!
The meaning of that is full of meaning, to me. It tells me that the things I do here must be done in faith that God will do His part, if we will do ours. Complete with a promise to bring results He sees as best. And I lean on that promise!
I cannot know what's the best outcome in my work here, which is affirmed in another promise He made. Jeremiah 33:3:
"Call to me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things you know not"
As with the trees, we may never see the results of our work here. But that's OK with me! It tells me that even our service for Him must be done in faith. Faith in is ability to use our efforts to bring results we know not. And God, when He so chooses, can easily lift the veil and show us the results of what we did for Him.
After all, Romans 8:26 says we don't even know how to pray as we ought. Thankfully, He has His Holy Spirit intercept our prayers and translate them into what we'd pray if we knew what He knows.
I like how He does trees. Even more how He brings results to our efforts here.
Whether He shows us the results, or not.