A Seed Bursts into Life
Apr 18, 2018
You never know when a seed you have planted will take root and grow. Just as planting literal seeds doesn’t produce instant results, it sometimes takes patience to see signs of spiritual life. That is true with my friend Barbara.
Barbara had come to Pennsylvania from the Dominican Republic with her husband, an expert in animal nutrition. When I joined the English as a Second Language (ESL) team at our church, she had been attending the class for two years. The leader, Jen, told me that Barbara seemed irritated by the 15-minute devotional that was part of the class. In fact, when the devotional began, Barbara would put on her coat and stand by the door! Nevertheless, Jen prayed for her every day.
Last fall I began co-leading the class. But this time, something was different with Barbara. I watched her interest in the Bible grow week by week. When we read a story about how Jesus calmed the sea, she responded, “That is beautiful.”
Early this year, I could tell that she was ready to hear the gospel. In early March I met with her individually and went over One-Verse Evangelism, a tool to help explain the gospel using Romans 6:23. She was open to the message and eagerly received Christ! She asked if I would teach her more about Christianity, and we started the Lessons on Assurance Bible study.
What a joy it is to see her get excited about Bible verses. In the “Answered Prayer” study, she read Matthew 7:7 (NIV): “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” “Wow!” she exclaimed. When her husband came home from work that day, she told him they need to be praying to have their visa extended (it expires in December). She has been reading her Bible every day.
Barbara goes over each lesson with her husband, and I wondered how he was responding to this Bible study. Over a meal at our home, I casually mentioned that his wife and I were enjoying studying the Bible together. He told us he had noticed a big change in her—she was happier and more self-confident since we started our study. Since then her husband has indicated an interest in meeting with my husband, Steve, to talk about Christianity. Last week, they came to our church service for the first time.
“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
—Mark 4:26-29 (NIV)
I can meet with someone and share the Word, but only God can bring about change in a person’s life. It is exciting to see God’s power at work!
Ellie and her husband, Steve, serve with Navigators Encore in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. You may email her here.