Daily Devotional

Thursday, June 24, 2021

How Things Grow

[Jesus] also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.’     Mark 4:26-27

The grass grows at night. We can fertilize it and water it and work to eliminate the weeds that invade it. We can do much helpful work during daylight hours. We understand the biology of growth. We also know how to harm and inhibit growth. But in the end, much growth happens without our assistance. Seeds can germinate and mature without our helping hands and watchful eyes. As the apostle Paul reminds us in his letter to the Christians at Corinth, we can plant and water, but in the end it is God who gives the growth. There is only so much we can do: grass continues to grow at night, and much is produced when our hand is off the plow. This truth can serve as a call to humility, as well as a call to sabbath. God is in charge, we are not. God gives growth, we do not. God is at work, even when we are not . . . in fact, God may work best when we are off the clock! So, perhaps, our most faithful response at times is to rest and rejoice at all that God can do.

Can you rest and trust, or do you prefer to work and produce?

Lord, I am a worker. I gauge my worth in large part on my productivity. That is how so much of the world works, and I am driven by that emphasis. I know this should not be the way—it is not your way—but I do not know any other way forward. Lead me along a better path. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN