Truly, truly I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. – John 12:24
Lately I have taken a new approach to witnessing to others. Instead of basically telling people they need to say the “sinner’s prayer,” I have likened it to a seed going into the ground. I show them an acorn. I let them know that they can keep the acorn of their life exactly like it is . . . nothing will ever change. Or they can put it in the ground. Over time, it will produce new life.
I have a friend who found some acorns from a beautiful white oak tree. He planted them in his greenhouse. Around the exact same time, I was witnessing to someone frequently. Several times I know I could have gotten him to say, “the prayer.” I patiently waited and kept talking to him. Weeks later, I got an email. It simply said, “I’m ready to plant my seed.” All the while, the acorns had produced nothing. We began to wonder if they were going to produce at all. This past Friday, my friend brought me one of the plants. You could see only the most barely visible green leaf sticking up. You literally had to be looking for it to find it. A few people happened to see it and couldn’t help but laugh a bit. Remember, this was Friday. I’m going to upload a picture from where it was three days later. New life!
The person I was witnessing to could not believe how it shot up. We talked about how even though he was about to plant his seed, it may take a while for him to see new life in his own heart, mind, and life. Just as we were beginning to wonder if it would ever produce life, it did . . . in its own time. I simply told him to put his seed in the ground, cover it up, water it with the Word of God, and trust with all of his heart that new life would come out of it. Over the years it would grow and grow until it was practically unmovable. It would grow to produce even more trees. Needless to say, I’ve never seen with my own eyes such a patient understanding of what it means to grow in the Lord.
Is the kid all fixed right now? Does he have zero doubts? Did every bad and sinful habit go immediately away? Of course not! Nor should we expect it to be this way. What we can do is pray! Pray that God finishes the work He has just begun.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars
The sun and the Earth and Jupiter and Mars
How loving and patient He must be
He’s still working on me