Folks, it’s Friday, April 17, 2015.
In a recent United Methodist Men’s monthly meeting, Todd Nickerson gave a devotion that hit me in the heart. He told a story of a young student who was visited by a youth group of a church. The youth group had honorable intentions: to let this person know the love of God, that there is hope and to explain that Jesus died for her (paraphrased). This young lady responded, “Life is hard. I don’t want anyone to change me.”
Todd continued the devotion explaining that, although the person responded with a sense of “little was expected and the likelihood of a changed life to occur was nil,” what happened was that a seed of hope and love was sown. The story goes on to say that she wished that she could thank the group that visited, that planted a seed that germinated in its time and that their visit was not in vain. She gave her life to Christ and joy now filled her soul.
I shared with the group that just a few days before I was preparing my okra seeds for spring planting; however, okra seeds have a tough outer coating that takes days to break…so that germination can occur. I told the group, I cheated the normal process of outer coating breakdown. I gently soaked them in hydrogen peroxide for just a couple of minutes, then rinsed them with water and placed the seeds in a moist paper towel, then in a plastic container. [A trick I learned in Master Gardening class]
One of the guys responded that sometimes we have to act like the “hydrogen peroxide” with some folks we care about…that they have a hardened shell around their heart and their soul and it needs to be broken down.
By the way, my okra seeds germinated overnight and are in small pots ready to grow and be transplanted into the ground, so that we may benefit what God has given to release the potential within that seed. I wonder if our hearts and souls have released their full potential of what God has placed within each of us?
There are times when we are content just the way we are…”I don’t want anyone [anything] to change me.” I wonder if the coating around the okra seed is also around our hearts and soul? I pray not. See you in church this Sunday. God has a plan for your life greater than you can imagine.
Pastor Frank (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. 1 Corinthians 3:6-8