We don’t go out much. Surprised? Our kids have spent countless hours outside playing together. It’s been great for them to explore, imagine, create, and get into trouble on occasion. Although it has taken them a few months to de-program, they’ve settled into playing together – finally. They have been on many adventures in our yard. They have had their share of successes, like engineering their own swings with spare rope they found and pieces of cut firewood. And, they’ve experienced their fair share of failures: Like the tight rope they tried to create. They never seemed to be able to get the knot right. All 3 of them tested it out, and they all fell into the dirt. We’re thankful that we haven’t had to visit the ER, yet. Knock on wood – thank you, Jesus.
One day, they decided to grow something. We have a clay dirt hill that breaks off our driveway. Most days it’s their mountain biking ramp. Other days, they like to dig holes. I’m just hoping they don’t get those days confused anytime soon. Anyhow, one day, as I was sitting on the porch working as they played, I saw them digging a huge hole. Jack decided they needed to plant a tree right in the middle of the dirt hill. He found a long branch that had recently fallen off a tree, and was laying discarded in the yard. He thought, in his heart of hearts, that he could make that tree grow – just by standing it up inside the clay hole. He was so proud of his idea and their combined effort.
We all forgot about the tree, except Jack. Overnight, we had a huge storm. When Jack went to check on his tree, it had fallen over and rolled down the hill. He was so confused as to why it fell over! He planted it, and wanted it to grow – so it certainly should have.
Sometimes we are so ready for things to grow, that we think that’s all we need. A readiness. Our will. Jack’s tree wasn’t ever going to grow. The limb was dead, the hole was too shallow, he didn’t even fill the hole in, the soil wasn’t right, and he definitely didn’t water it. He just wanted to will it into growing. Of course, that’s not how it works. No matter how badly we want something to grow, if the conditions and timing isn’t right, it won’t. Sometimes we have to wait for a word from God. Sometimes that word is “not now.” But rest assured. When the time is right, God will give the growth.
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. 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. For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:5-9)