Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sowing and Doing for God

Where to begin? As I was reading a devotional this morning that moved me to pieces, I felt the Lord saying "you have to tell your story". I had every intention of sharing this story with my small group. However, I felt a tug saying "No, share it with more. Write about it; write about Me." Oh, Lord in Heaven, what honor and privilege to write about YOU. Fighting back the tears, I am now writing, literally without a clue as to how this will be formulated.

Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness. Isaiah 30:8

Then they said to Jeremiah, "May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the LORD your God sends you to tell us. Jeremiah 42:5

I've been involved in a small group from church for almost two years. I began sharing the responsibility of leading the study with our group leader last spring, knowing that she was leaving the group and I would take the reigns with another lady as co-leaders. In August I found out I would be leading solo. Whoa. Leading, coordinating host homes, organizing, solo. Whoa, Lord. I didn't sign up for that. I didn't sign on the dotted line for that. Surely my name was forged. Are You sure, Lord? Do you remember whom You are asking, here? Remember, me little ol' Paula. Did You maybe get my 'file' mixed up with someone else's? I was hoping to be able to sit back and listen without the responsibility of leading and preparing every other week. I was looking forward to the flexibility of not taking my turn on a week I didn't feel well. I wasn't looking for this responsibility and pressure. But, I trust You, Lord. You had to deal this card this way for a reason and I need to play it, for You. I think I need this accountability. I don't need an "escape clause". I need the discipline and to be held responsibility...to be moved out of my comfort zone and for God to transform my discomfort into a passionate desire.

I digress. So, last week at group we started a new study. It was our first meeting in three months since we broke for the summer. It was "my" group...it was God's group placed in "my" hands and "my" care. It was the first of many firsts. We had a small attendance of five and had the flexibility to get off track a little. The author was questioning herself and one of the things she was questioning was when was the last time she had led someone to Christ. In this list of questions she was proposing to herself, she asked if we could relate to any of them. There were about six or so and I could relate to a few of them, including this one. I admitted to the group, and now to the world, that I don't know that I've ever led anyone to Christ. Correct that...I said I've never led anyone in the sinner's prayer or shared the Roman's road. They piped in and said "oh no, you are a witness by how you live." I said, yes, I hope I am but that I feel guilty for never walking that Roman's road with someone and seeing him/her encounter and accept Jesus Christ.

We shared how we can plant many seeds just by our conversations with others and we are not to be the one that does it all: plant it, water it, tend it, and grow it. I confessed guilt over not planting more seeds in a more direct way pointing to God in my conversations. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

There is one lady I had on my mind that evening. Someone I enjoy very much and think of very highly. I expressed how she's been going through some stress at work and I wanted to share my faith in one of those plantings of seeds. Something as simple as praying for her and telling her so. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 1 Corinthians 15:37

Monday afternoon I emailed her expressing my heart and allowing God to do with my expression whatever He chooses.

"I have been praying for you. I’ve been asking God to cover you with peace and assurance and that you will have whatever you personally need to get through this glowing. I know you have been on edge and nervous about this. I have been praying all your nerves will be settled and you sail through this calm at heart."

On Tuesday afternoon, she said "I printed your email." With the stress, drama, and chaos of the day, I wasn't following what she meant and which email she meant as we exchange them regularly. The light bulb went off and I exclaimed "oh." She said she had it laying on the table with her the whole time. The expression on my face must've been 'deer in the headlights' because I couldn't believe it. I think I said, "really?" She continued to say she glanced at it and read it several times during the situation. She said it was very encouraging and she felt herself calm. It seemed to have meant a lot to her...more than I ever dreamed.

Are you serious? Get out of here? I couldn't have made that kind of impact with that small gesture. I'm still in 'shock' and surprised by it. It was just my heart. I had been praying for her. I did care for her state of mind and the calmness of her heart. Like I said, she is one great person and awesome at what she does.

What if I had not done that? What if I had not sent that email? What if that small act, that small seed didn't come to mind during group? Would it really have made a big difference to not do it? I think so. I may never know what that seed will form. [1 Cor. 15:37 above] But, I do know I followed what I believe to be God's quiet (very quiet) voice and His gentle nudging. I only pray He continues to keep my mind sharp and bright, open to more opportunities for some seed plantin'. Show me Lord where to sow Your seeds. Show me to sow.

Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well. Ecclesiastes 11:6.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6

Yes, Lord, let us sow generously not for the goal of reaping generously for ourselves but that we would reap generously with eternal matters.

A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough. Galatians 5:9
A little faith. A little seed. A little sowing.

Do you have some seeds that need released? Do you have some sowing that needs to be done?

© Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Picture is of my gorgeous petunias; one of the few annuals I buy.

20 comments:

Melanie said...

Beautiful post, Paula! Isn't it amazing what God will do when we share our hearts, share HIS love??!! May we all be willing to sow more for HIm!

Tammy said...

It's your willing heart and your obedience to act when He speaks. You did just that and God smiled!

love and hugs~Tammy

Beth in NC said...

Yay! Isn't it a great feeling to be obedient and see God's Hand move? That is wonderful Paula!

Charlotte said...

Back again! When I saw your morning glory picture show up on my blog, I just had to come back and see what you were sharing today. Perfect timing...just came back from my bible study group - coincidence? No, I don't think so. Some of the things you mentioned have been coming up in my life also; a common thread God is weaving in many women's hearts. He is definitely doing a work here; stirring us to speak, to share, to not hold back His love. Thank you for being faithful and sharing, for being honest, for listening to His voice and for allowing Him to use you.
His richest blessings,
Charlotte

Charlotte said...

Oh, I see they are petunias...just as lovely! Keep planting those seeds!

Runner Mom said...

I loved this!! Your obedience is exactly what He desired.

Thanks for the picture tip on Blogger! It's working--although I can't see the first picture on my blog due to McAffee security!!

Hugs,
Susan

Nicole said...

That's awesome Paula! Thanks for the encouragement to be planting seeds. I spoke with a coworker today about a situation she is going through that is very difficult. Our situations are somewhat similar, but the big difference is that Evan and I have Christ to help us through. After our talk I thought about how I mainly just listened, and tried to give grace, love and compassion in my glances and responses. Afterwards I was hoping that I said enough, gave enough grace and truth with what we exchanged. The phrase that came to my mind is this: "They will not care how much we know until they know how much we care." That really comforted me. I do pray for more oppurtunities and boldness to go forth. In that moment all my troubles seemed to disappear as I realized that God has strategically placed me at this job so that I can show and be Jesus to my coworker. He picked me. Can you believe it? Don't answer that. :) I know we all feel that sometimes, but we are His treasure and He loves us enough to use us even while we are goign through our own "stuff". Sometimes I truly believe it helps our own stuff to be there for others. Love you Paula. Thank you for sharing and giving me an oppurtunity to write my experience out. Toodles. :)

Oh, by the way...as I was reading your email to your coworker I truly sensed God's wording all over it. I can tell you have grown in your walk and it is so exciting!!! Keep climbing up sunshine mountain my friend! Blessings!!!

Just something else that came to mind...I want to keep planting seeds until the Lord brings the harvest. In His time He will make all things beautiful. In His time!!!

Laura said...

I have missed you, Paula, dear...and your willing heart. God has used you in many ways. Your story ministers to many.

this is a great story and encourages me to do those little things that don't seem to make a difference.

luv you!

Sharon said...

I am smilingggggg :) I felt like you were with me on Wednesday!!!
Sharing and caring can make such a impact on us sometimes just at the right time. The book marker I sent to you, I sent to another friend the next day, It was on the Armor of God, I knew she would like it very much, but what I didn't know was how much I touched her how I reached out to her heart.
On Wednesday, I was sitting here at work, and in walks a Florist, asked to speak to "ME", and had 2 arrangements. I was sooooooo excited, The card on it read "Thanks for always being my friend!" "I Love you very much"
It wasn't flowers per say it was edible arrangements. But she never signed her name, But I knew where it came from.
Sometimes out of the clear blue, our hearts can reach out to someone and not even knowing they are stressed or down or what may be going on and put a smile on there face, a lift of there shoulders, a reminder of our Lord and how much he Loves you, ORRRR just letting them know YOU are thinking of them or praying a prayer for them. It can do so much for someone!!

It's really called "LOVE"!!!

I was going to write about this, but I know I can't put it in writing like you do, wowwwwww so awesome! Your scriptures were so perfect.

Sometimes I think it's like a test, like our hearts are being tested, and to see how willing of a heart we have.

As far as leading someone to the Lord, I never push the issue, but it seems like there are so many lost souls, I find them everywhere, sometimes we will have 4 or 5 in a week, sometimes 1 a month, but I know when we get our church we will have extreme amounts, these will be days of pure Joy, Amen!!

This as always is a great post :)
You always know how to reach to my heart, I Love You my friend, sister in Christ.

Have a Beautiful, Blessedddd and Joyfilled Weekend.

Hugggggggsss :)

Angela said...

Just yesterday I sat down to write some emails to ladies that are a forum I belong and moderate. I had felt the Lord tugging at my heart to do this for a few weeks..Yesterday, I did...and thanked God that I finally walked in obedience. I felt Him speak to my spirit, letting me know that I may not know where these ladies 'are' right now, but He did,,and He would touch them...It is amazing how a 'simple' email or letter, or gesture can have such an impact on someone...

Abba's Girl said...

Amen!

Joyfulsister said...

Hi Paula,
Just continue to allow the Lord to use as he is in such a mighty way. You may not think you are leaving an impact but you are believ me. I pray that the Lord will give you the courage and boldness to go forth in his glory.

Hugz Lorie

Liz said...

God is so cool. One of the things I have noticed is that God uses his people so very often when we are not even trying to be used...and it is often in the biggest ways. Sometimes, we don't even find out, but what a blessing when we do!
Awesome!

LisaShaw said...

Paula, this was a very precious message.

God is using your life for HIS glory in big ways girl!

Love and blessings!

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Elizabeth Mahlou said...

It has been experience that if we do one tasking that God gives us, He will give us another, and if we do that, another and another and another and another. You may become very busy!

Sarah Dawn said...

Always an encouragement to stop by. Thank you for spurring me on to sew more seeds for HIs glory.

Hugs to you,
Sarah Dawn

Tracy said...

Beautiful post, dear Paula! Don't you love when God allows you to see the result of your obedience to His still small voice?? = ) Thanks for sharing.

valerie said...

That's great Paula.
I'm glad you were obedient and I'm so glad you were able to know how much this helped your friend.

Melanie said...

Loved this story and loved your transparency. What cuaght my attention first was that gorgeous flower - i'm a sucker for any pink/purple flowers. I have a painting by my very talented mother of a gorgous pink flower that's in my guest room, aka the pink room. With a houseful of boys i needed some pink.