Many years ago I worked as the director of a non-profit food bank here in Panama City, Fl. My pastor at the time, Pastor Perry Dalton, put me in place for the job, trained me, encouraged me and turned me loose. It was awesome! I loved doing seminars and training sessions, on site inspections, coordinating food deliveries, raising hunger awareness in the press, and even working closely with the USDA. We doubled the number of non-profits that we worked with during the first year.
One day he walked into my office and brought a large picture. I do not recall what prompted the loan of this picture but he propped it against the wall on one side of my desk and said, "Here. This is going to help you. I'm going to leave it here for as long as you need it." I looked at it and read the script out loud:. "Judge Each Day Not By The Harvest, But By The Seeds You Plant." It was a profound moment for me. It was like God Himself had whispered in my ear and even though I am sure the reason he brought me that picture was work related I knew that God intended for me to understand who He was calling me to be in the bigger picture.
I was a fairly new Christian and wanted so badly to see everyone get saved RIGHT. NOW. And I wanted to be the one to lead them to the Lord. Not out of personal pride or tracking numbers but because my salvation experience had been so radical and life changing that I really wanted to be a part of that kind of transformation in the lives of the people I cared about. There was a man in our church named Jack and it seemed like all he had to do was say the name of Jesus to a total stranger and they got saved. I wanted that SO BAD! So I poured Jesus into everyone I came in contact with. I was SO EXCITED about God! And then they would go to another church and get saved. Or a revival. Or a visit with another friend would become their salvation experience. I would be so excited for them but inside I would wonder what I was doing wrong. [Like God's timing for the salvation of others was mine to choose, right? Um. Wrong. lol.]
At times like this God would bring that picture back to my mind. He used that to show me HIS plan for me, as opposed to what my own plans were. Jack is what I call a harvester. I am a seed planter. It's clear to me that it is so important for each of us to know God's call on our life and for us to not try to walk in someone elses call. As I embraced my calling, to be a seed planter, an encourager and an instrument of God's love to others, I began to clearly see the fruit of my labors. I looked at each day and asked myself if I planted any seeds of Christ in others rather than did I lead someone through the sinner's prayer and salvation. And Man! I have to say it feels GOOD to walk in my calling and on the path God has for me. Teenagers and young adults seem to be my "kingdom" destiny and the Lord draws them to me without fail. I have the honor and privilege of spending countless hours with them, planting kingdom seeds in them, encouraging them, and loving them unconditionally as best I can.
Recently I got a phone call at about 11:00p.m. from a young man who I have spent a good bit of time with, loving him, encouraging him and doing my best to answer his questions about God. He came to me over and over and over again, but never took that step to Jesus. After 3 years of planting seed in his life, encouraging him about God, loving him and praying for him, he accepted the Lord at a young adult home group. I was so excited! And he called me right away because he wanted me to be the first to know! God was extra good to me in that! And that's not all!
An awesome young lady came to my house the night before Thanksgiving and told me she had gotten saved and baptized while away at college! Hallelujah! It was so exciting to sit with her and another young woman of Christ at my kitchen table to hear all about it and rejoice with her! I am in awe of what God is doing! Our relationship began when she was a sophomore or junior in high school and has continued through her second year at college in another part of the state. I have loved her, encouraged her and prayed for her. I know that God has orchestrated our friendship. God is so faithful!
It's all so exciting to me, to see years of seed planting come to bear fruit. I can so clearly see the path the Lord has for me and I am joyfully walking it out. And you know what? It never even crosses my mind to look for harvest opportunities anymore, I'm too busy planting those Kingdom seeds and having a blast doing it!