May 15, 2012

Investing in Others

We start from the ground up. Dark humus fills the beds of our fingernails . . . fills the bed of our garden. Our foundation is a rich mix of soil and manure, dreams and hopes. Add in a little wishing; a lot of knowing.

This will grow. We have faith it will. And though this garden is big, and we worry our miniscule seeds will be lost in its expanse, we plant anyhow. There’s promises held in every seed, no matter their size.

It all begins with this first handful of dirt. Taken into open palm. Dark loam runs through our fingers as words pour from our mouths, “Giver of new life, please make this harvest abound.”

And oh isn’t this how it all started? With a scoop of dust, a palm full of dirt?

“Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the earth and blew the breath of life into his nostrils. The man became a living being.” ~Gen. 2:7

The only thing necessary for growth is the Lord God Himself. Tuck that light into the darkness of doubt that your loved one won’t come to know Him.

Might we plant two seeds today? The first, a faith seed. No matter the size, it will not be lost in the boundless expanse of God’s heart. This seed is for you. Faith to remove the fear, settle the panic that he or she will refuse to accept Jesus. Faith to trust that no matter what path he or she is taking, “grace in the soul grows not of itself in nature’s soil, but is the work of God.” {M. Henry}.

The second, an action seed planted in love. One of the marvelous mysteries of life is prayer. Perhaps today, your seed could be the answer to another’s prayer that her loved one is seeing God? Might it be a patient word, kind smile, humble dinner invitation?

Because isn’t that what love is? Patient, kind, humble? Oh and how beautiful His kindness is which draws us into Him.

~I’m trying to do that with my vegetable garden. Inviting kids to scoop up the soil and see Heaven in the earth.
~And to my newlywed neighbors who have self-avowed black thumbs and ask, “Will you help us garden?” I say yes, I’ll share how to prune a vine and slip into our conversation how to abide in Him as well.
~For the curious woman and her dog who stroll past each week as I’m watering, we’ll go over again what this- and that- plant is. Because I hope to share the Living Water for her thirsty soul at the same time.

And mostly because I can’t help but wonder, am I being the answer to someone else’s prayer? Might I be watering a seed a mother, brother, pastor, or friend planted years and years ago? Only God knows and only God causes growth. But oh the joy to think we could in some small way be even a drop in someone’s salvation story.

What are some neat ways you ‘water’ seeds of salvation? And might we join you in praying for a cherished friend or family member? Please leave a comment below. Many thanks . . .

Please click here for more on how I’m investing in others through my veggie garden.

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  1. Dear Sam, Boy this devotion was right on topic for me, after reading my bible and praying. I thank you for your words of wisdom. I pray daily for my son and his family. His wife was not raised in a church but he has brought them to the church. I pray empathy for her toward her family and her children. I pray that God will help my son continue to be the spiritual head of his family. I am overwhelmed that my daughter in law works until 6 or after each day and leaves the children in daycare until then. The older four year old feels neglected and tired, and I wish they would hug her more and know when she is defiant (only alittle) she needs love and understanding. I witnessed this last weekend when we visited. I just feel like the parents are more concerned with their worries, concerns and things that they overlook some of the older child’s and the babies. There are many things I could mention but I will just ask you to pray for their wisdom and guidance in caring for and raising their babies. Thank you for your prayers, I try to do what you did for a friend, actions speak louder than words.

  2. Thank you for your devotional and your post. I needed the reminder to trust in God and his timing with my two oldest children. Sometimes it is so hard and I get too caught up in worry about how they are not walking with God right now (both made a decision to follow the Lord and were baptized in their teens). I need the reminder that God is at work and it is not in my hands, it is in His hands. I will keep on praying and planting and trust God that they will grow again in His time. I know in my head that He will not let that go, but my mother’s heart needs that reminder often.

  3. Thanks Samantha for your devotion on P31. I have been doing life with a “Javiar”. I love this dear friend and want so much to tell her how Christ can fill her life, but words are not what will reach her. In fact, “religion and politics” are off limit subjects with her as we don’t share the same world view. My heart aches as I watch her stumble through life without a Savior. God has shown me, that as you did with your friend, words are not what I say, but what I do. That is what will reach my friend. That is tough sometimes. But Christ is me is what will save her. Thanks for hope that perhaps one day this little seed in my garden will take root in the true source of life. I needed your words today. Blessings!

  4. Natalie Green says:

    Thank you so much for today’s devotional, it was a timely word for me. God is such an awesome, loving Father who knows just what we need when we need it. I am expectantly waiting on the seeds sown in the heart of my daughter to sprout up into a wonderful relationship with the Lord. God bless you.

  5. “This seed is for you. Faith to remove the fear, settle the panic that he or she will refuse to accept Jesus. Faith to trust that no matter what path he or she is taking.” Wow! those words really spoke to me so much that after I read them, I said, “God you love me so much thank you for this reassurance that you have things in control no matter what it looks like.” I have been praying for my son for several years, he is now 21, to step into his God appointed destiny and to serve Jesus with his whole heart. The last two days, I have become somewhat discouraged because it seems like nothing is happening, but all morning I have been hearing God say, “I’ve got this, don’t worry” and then I read your post on Encouragement for Today and your blog! All I can say is Wow! God knows right where I am and sent you to encourage me. Thanks for being obedient and planting seeds today.

  6. Thank you for such a timely word. It really made me think about my silent witness. It is can be just as effective as the spoken word. HE can work by any means necessary. Blessings, Tameko

  7. I enjoy this ministry so very much. Many days it is speaking directly to me and my situations. I thank God for your words of encouragement. I pass them on to a few people along my way. And they pass them on. Thank all of you for your continued sharings. This one touched the most, as I have a sick mother of three years, a son that does not speak to me (5 months now) and a daughter who lost her children, my grand children, (4 of them) and she is living on the streets. I would call the morgues every other week as I could not take the pain of wondering in longer. Though my relationship with the Lord is the ultimate of beauty, I so look forward to anwered prayers. Changed lives. A time silent of casting my cares upon the Lord. This message touched my heart and I rejoice in the Lord for it. Thank you again.

  8. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

    Love this: “And mostly because I can’t help but wonder, am I being the answer to someone else’s prayer? Might I be watering a seed a mother, brother, pastor, or friend planted years and years ago? Only God knows and only God causes growth. But oh the joy to think we could in some small way be even a drop in someone’s salvation story.”

    I wonder that too. And who are the answers to my prayers for my loved ones. Can’t wait til heaven when we can see them all and rejoice!!!

    Love you friend!

  9. Loved this! Would you please join me in praying that my husband’s family would come to accept Christ as their savior. I have been praying for years. Thank you!!

  10. Thank you, Samantha, for encouraging me to have hope without sight. I am praying that God will give me that gentle, quiet spirit from 1 Peter 3, so that my husband will be won without a word. It is good to hear that God is still working behind the scenes, nurturing the seeds planted.

    Your sis,

  11. DEBRA AIKEN says:

    Thank you so much for this word on today. I really to hear your testimony and words of encouragement. I needed to hear your testimony and the story of Naomi and Ruth. Those stories sound a lot like my life right now. Having to trust God in uncertainty of times.

    Thank you for your obedience in hearing from God and posting this message today.

    May God forever bless you for your faithfulness.

    Debra Aiken

  12. Andrew Geer says:

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for such words of encouragement, through the proverbs ministry. Todays encouragement in particular because as a Husband, Father and headship of my household. I am struggling because I am out of work on similar circumstances and I just could not figure out why! But thanks be to God for he is working things out on my behalf.

    Thanks once again.

    In his Service

    Andrew Geer

  13. I likke what you guuys are usually uup too. This sort of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve added
    you guys to my personal blogroll.


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