Sowing spiritual seed

Sowing grass seed“Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.”  John 4:36 (NIV)

Chapter         (NIV)

Audio              (6:37)

Years ago, my wife and I decided to excavate an area near our home to put in a small pond. After the excavation was finished, it was necessary to plant grass to prevent future erosion. It was a lot of work. First the ground had to be prepared by removing larger rocks and debris. Then the seed had to be sown. Finally, we needed to mix the seed into the soil. Even after all that work, it took time before we saw any results from our labor. Eventually however, the grass did grow and protect the area around our new pond.

In this and other Scriptures, Jesus uses the analogy of planting seed to describe the process of helping others come to faith. Just like getting grass to grow is a multi-step process, so is the harvest of spiritual seed.

We have a unique opportunity in medicine to sow spiritual seeds because our encounters with patients and family often involve a healthcare crisis. Just as unprepared soil has rocks and debris, individuals have barriers and biases against God that need clearing.

God will often use a healthcare crisis to accomplish that clearing.

As God undertakes that clearing process, we might witness opportunities in our patients or their families in which they display an openness to the Lord. That’s the time for sowing the seed of the Gospel. The best form for that seed to take is a simple yet clear and concise description of what Jesus has done for us.

Once the seed is sown, don’t expect an immediate response. It usually takes time for the seed to sprout. The work of sprouting the seed belongs to the Holy Spirit. He uses us to prepare the soil and plant the seed, but He is the ultimate harvester.

But how exciting it is when the seed sprouts! Jesus tells us that whenever the seed bears fruit, all who are involved in the process should rejoice together! Regardless of whether we prepared the ground or planted the seed, we participated in the process and should rejoice!

Prayer: Lord, open my eyes to the fields ripe for harvest and guide me to the part you want me to play.

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