Did you ever notice that God has a thing for gardens? From Eden to Gethsemane God has done some of His best work in a garden. Not only did He create life in a garden but as Jesus prepared to give His life for us, He went to a garden.
The Power Of Seeds
No ifs, and’s or buts about it, if you are going to have a garden you have to have plant seeds. Why? Because everything in life starts with a seed. A relationship, a business, a church, the solution to a problem. Nothing is going to happen until you plant a seed.
Did you realize that there are 359 references to seeds in the Bible? Jesus uses seeds in his parables on multiple occasions such as Matthew 17:20 (MSG) “Because you’re not yet taking God seriously.” Said Jesus. : “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kennel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”
Tackling Global Hunger
God wants us to plant seeds? Why, because it requires faith. Our faith pleases God and brings Him glory.
This October my church wanted to tackle the problem of global hunger. But how? That’s a massive problem. One out of every eight people in the world goes to bed hungry every night. And hunger is responsible for the deaths of 3.1 million children under the age of 5 each year.
How could we possibly make a difference? We partnered with Global Aid Network, (GAiN for short) to pack seeds and build drip irrigation kits.
Our goal was to raise $80,000.00 to fund the project and pack 250,000 packs of seed and make 1,000 drip irrigation kits to be distributed by missionaries in impoverished countries.
More than Statistics
So on a beautiful October morning, they came, 976 volunteers working in 2 1/2 hour shifts. But it turned into so much more than a “mission project” for me.
My job was to coach the people packing tomato seeds. That included showing them the way the seeds were to be measured and scooped into the seed packets. It was also my job to make sure they had all the seeds and envelopes they needed and then take the filled packets to the packing station.
My area leader from GAiN was Andy. At one point during my shift, he stopped by to see how I was doing and give encouragement. I mentioned that it didn’t seem like I was really doing enough. What Andy said next changed my whole perspective of what I was doing and what was happening.
He said every seed placed in an envelope was an act of love. And every packet carried to the shipping station, every label placed on an envelope, every drip irrigation kit assembled was also an act of love.
He then made a sweeping motion with his hand over the sea of volunteers sitting at tables working diligently, looked at me and said, “That is the Gospel.”. He went on to share that those receiving these seeds would read the gospel through our acts of love. WOW!
What a great reminder. You hear me say it a lot, but it’s true, “perspective changes everything.” Before talking to Andy, I was focused on me. How I didn’t think what I was doing was that significant. How much pain I was feeling in my shoulder and back with each step. After our conversation, my focus changed to those who would receive the seeds and kits we were preparing. I began praying for each family who would receive seeds and a drip irrigation kit. I asked God to prepare their hearts and impact their lives beyond what I could imagine. And I saw myself planting seeds of love with each step.
Just The Beginning
So what happens when 976 people get together to plant seeds of love? Well, they exceed their financial challenge and raise $80,959.00. They pack 250,000 packs of seeds and 1,000 drip irrigation kits. By the way, those 250,000 seed packs will produce 2.5 million pounds of food.
But when the seeds and kits arrive at their destination the story is just beginning. Countless lives will be transformed. Missionaries who already have relationships with those in need will teach them how to plant the seeds and install the drip irrigation kits. That will empower families to have enough food and take excess food to market to sell, raising money to use for other needs.
Also, because the seeds are non-GMO families will be able to save the seeds produced by the crops to plant the following year enabling them to produce food and income year after year.
Not only will these seeds bring needed food and income, restoring human dignity to the recipients it will open their hearts to the Gospel and help them grow closer to God.
You Are a Seed Planter
Each of us has the opportunity to plant seeds every day. Seeds of love and kindness. It can be as simple as a smile or a kind word. Remember, as Andy reminded me, every act of kindness plants a seed of love. Who knows how God will use it to transform the lives of those we touch. God can use what seems like something little and insignificant to you and produce amazing results. The size of the seed is not proportionate to the size of the results when God is involved. When you plant a seed God’s way, you become the Gospel others will read.
What seeds of love can you sow this week?