“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
Seed Growing Secretly
(Please read Mark 4:26-29)
We hate to call ourselves impatient, but most of us will admit to being “eager” for results from all our efforts for good. When we present the good news of Christ to others, we naturally hope to see them become Christians and the sooner the better. But we forget sometimes that people can react in different ways when they hear the gospel.
Our text parable seems to picture a teacher or preacher sowing the seed of the gospel. Like literal seed in the soil, it germinates in the heart of the hearer and the heart eventually “beareth fruit of itself” (KJV), not due to outside human effort.
And the process is still somewhat mysterious. A preacher sometimes can no more explain how a convert came to be “harvested” as a Christian than a farmer can describe exactly what makes a seed grow. So we continue to reap spiritual results without altogether understanding how they were produced.
But we don’t have to know such things, only that if we continually “scatter seed on the ground” (NIV) of human hearts, God will make it grow (see 1 Corinthians 3:7). The entire process requires staying power on the part of those who sow the seed.
In another context, James wrote of the patience of the farmer waiting for the land to yield its valuable crop, and admonished believers to have the same patience (see James 5:7-8). While those who proclaim the gospel may see its truth with crystal clarity, they should not demand instant understanding on the part of their hearers. Let the seed germinate, and pray for a good harvest!