Seed and gardening catalogs have been arriving in our mailbox almost daily. It’s encouraging to look at page after colorful page of vegetables, flowers, and trees in full leaf. It’s a reminder that according to God’s order of creation, spring will come again.
But what about now? Look out the window and appearances would suggest that absolutely nothing is happening. Trees are bare. The ground is frozen. There’s not a solitary flower to be seen anywhere. Yet just because we don’t see anything, doesn't mean that nothing is going on. Even in winter dormancy trees are alive and preparing for spring growth. Seeds and bulbs look totally lifeless, but at just the right time, they will sprout and new growth will poke through the ground.
Sometimes it’s discouraging because it seems as though God’s Word isn’t working. We look around and nothing is happening—at least that we can see. Spiritually, the world looks like a cold, lifeless environment in which nothing could possibly grow or survive for long. We may even begin to wonder whether the Word is doing anything in our own hearts. We don’t see a great deal happening in our lives.
Then look at how God directs us to learn from His creation: “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 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. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace” (Is. 55:10-12). Even when we don’t see anything happening, the Word is at work. God says so. Paul wrote the Corinthian believers, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” (1 Cor. 3:6).
Don’t be disheartened. God’s kingdom-rule by faith in Jesus is always growing. Even when we don’t see it, something is happening. Wherever the Word is planted, it is going to have its effect in people’s hearts: calling them to repentance and faith, strengthening trust in Jesus as Savior from sin, and preserving believers for eternal life. Page after page, the Word nourishes our faith and causes us to grow in love and service to Him who gave His life for us. Go to the Word today. Take it in. Soak it up. Pray that it will grow and thrive. Then plant it in someone else.
Yours in Christ,
Services tomorrow are at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated in both services. Sunday school is at 9:15 a.m. and adult Bible class meets at 9:30 a.m.