By Sandra Roman
The process of becoming, whether professional or spiritual development, requires a paradigm shift. All transformation comes at a cost. The seed, Christ Jesus, had to die for there to be a spiritual plant that produces a spiritual harvest. The process of breaking new ground and sowing seeds as servants to the Kingdom of God for the gathering of the harvest is a linear process in which things change from one stage to the next. As Christians, we are to trust that God is in control of the full process of the transformation. God works for the good of his creation. Our role as followers of Jesus is to have a tender, teachable heart, obedient to do God’s will. For we are the workers, and God is the sovereign Lord who created us with a purpose to proclaim the gospel so all might know the Savior and have life everlasting.
Does that mean we are always in the process of becoming and surrendering to God’s will? And at what cost? These questions weighed heavily on my heart seven years ago when I was baptized and started to serve God as a Children’s Ministry teacher. Although I had taught children in the public after-school system of Lancaster City for many years, I was not prepared for the challenges of teaching in the church classroom.
I developed on my own initiative a “Bible study classroom.” However, the children quickly became bored with my simplified lessons. In addition, the behavior problems of some students required putting out emotional fires instead of sparking spiritual fires in the hearts of the children. No matter how much I wanted to control the outcome, the learning was minimal. My prayer life was consumed with questions to God of why my harvest was looking bleak.
God responded with an answer of “change!” He commanded me to break new ground. God started by plowing through my own old, bad habits. God reminded me that the harvest was not mine but God’s. My role was to master plowing and sowing. The point of the plow was to break the ground to allow for sowing of seeds. Preparing the soil in this manner allowed for burying any crop residue or weeds in the process and giving the good seed a better chance.
The cost of this new start was to surrender my knowledge and to depend on God’s wisdom to direct me on how to teach the children the Bible. I pressured myself to grow the seeds but that was God’s work. I found my heart desire to teach again by trusting that God would grow the seeds. In my mind, I was already doing my victory dance. I was convinced that I had finally found the “secret sauce” that would allow me to successfully witness to every child so that they would receive Jesus. But the reality is that all children develop and learn in different ways at a variety of levels and timing. I had plowed the field and sown the seeds God provided. Some of the seeds were growing, but some seeds had not sprouted. I thought to myself, “I am failing again!”
My prayer life changed once again. This time I asked God to show me why I did not witness the full harvest? What do I need to change? One day after a time-demanding Bible study class, my husband asked me, “How did it go?” My answer to him was “I don’t think this is working. I’ve done all I can do to teach the children, but I don’t see them embracing Jesus as their Savior. What am I doing wrong that the seeds I sow are falling on infertile ground?”
My husband gave me a compassionate smile, locked his eyes to mine, and asked “Did you do what God sent you to do?” I responded with a tired, “Yes.” “Then allow God to grow the seeds you have sown in his time. Keep seeking God in prayer for help. Ask Him for the changes you need to make. He created you special for this work. Don’t give up on what he created you for.” WOW! What a blessing that conversation turned out to be.
Now, when God directs me to change, to break new ground, I respond with an obedient, “Yes God, I’ll do my part.” God willing, we, as servants of God, will sow many seeds in our lifetime. Whether we see those seeds develop and grow is another story.