I had forgotten the joy that comes with digging in the soil, dirt under my fingernails, and the resulting bright colors. Sweat on my brow and hot sunshine, as new life changed the landscape as well as my perspective. For years growing up, I was both a planter and nourisher. Now my soul craves to understand the role of each and how God plays in the midst.
Digging in the soil is a gift I have not participated in for years. Now before you think I went wild in this endeavor, let me set you straight. I have very little room to do much planting, but the act itself stirred some deep memories. Ones that filtered snapshots of my mom and dad tending to their favorite flowers. Others of summer competitions with my neighbor to see who would grow the biggest tomato. All the memories melded together as the past bumped into the present.
More than a month ago, I came across these words from 1 Corinthians as I was reading. The internal debate of planters vs. nourishers sparked and I bring it to all of you now.
It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. -1 Corinthians 3:7-9 NLT
Let’s take a look at this passage together.
We learn immediately that it doesn’t matter who is a planter or nourisher (person who does the watering). In the middle of both jobs is a God who makes the seed grow. We can be both planter and nourisher when we embrace the God who is more important than anything else.
Looking further into the passage, God teaches that He rewards us for our hard work. Planting comes first and watering follows, but both take on equal importance.
In my younger years, I loved new beginnings. Starting something from scratch and seeing it through to the end brought great joy. I especially took great delight in the process of growth in the many students I taught over the years. As I became a parent, my focus turned more toward building into my kids and being present so they could grow. Standing back as an observer and casual facilitator changed me in all the right ways. I learned I didn’t need to always be the start up person. I found so much peace in allowing my sons to naturally grow as I continued to provide the foundation.
The truth of who we are lies in our identity in Christ. Stirring up childhood memories pointed me to how God’s presence follows me everyday of my life. God lays the foundation for creating new beginnings and provides opportunities for us to be still, listen, and in the process do the same for others. A planter begins with the seed and the nourisher takes special care to water the seed with wisdom, grace, love, and perseverance. Ultimately we are God’s creation and His example always leads us to being the best of both.
So today I challenge myself to be the fertile field ready to receive God’s truth, wisdom, and grace. He wants to plant us with His Word and grow us into a loving people, who then share Him with others. Will you join me in this challenge? Your story will continue and you will grow.
This is how the story continues …
You are never too old to plant or become something new.
You are a nourisher when you freely share kindness with others.
God graces the planters and nourishers with unique gifts.
There are times in our lives we indulge in the skills of a planter and other times we focus more on being a nourisher.
You are God’s unique blessing to the world. Shine your light and rejoice in the beauty.
Now it’s your turn! Linkup your favorite encouraging post and tell your story. Grab the #TellHisStory button and link (please link back to here so others can find us) to display on your blog and invite others to join you here.
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