Friday, May 18, 2007
Sow Your Seed
Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, for you do not know what evil will be on the earth. If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth; and if a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie. He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good. Ecclesiastes 11:1-6
I've mentioned before about my journey through the book of Matthew with J.C. Ryle as my companion, or escort is more like it. We are going slowly and diligently and I'm enjoying the excursion immensely. This morning, we arrived at the beginning of the thirteenth chapter and I read, for perhaps the five hundredth time, the parable of the sower. You've probably had the same experience--it seems that no matter how often you read it, there are fresh new truths. We've often talked about the seed (God's Word)), about the sower, and about the hearers. Mr. Ryle had quite a bit to say about those who sow, and most of his comments were directed to those in the ministry.
But my thoughts went to mothers. Especially young mothers. As he wrote his words concerning ministers of the gospel, I was applying them to those who are sowing the seeds of God's Word in the hearts of their precious children. Ryle mentioned a portion of the above passage, which I meditated on often when my oldest daughter was small. It was a comfort to me when I became weary. It was an encouragement when I worried about the future. It was a reminder that the results were not mine to accomplish. I just needed to sow. So all you moms, listen to what Bishop Ryle said of preachers, and apply it to yourself and your children:
"Like the sower, the preacher cannot give life. He can scatter the seed committed to his charge, but he cannot command it to grow: he may offer the word of truth to a people, but he cannot make them receive it and bear fruit. To give life is God's solemn prerogative: 'It is the Spirit that quickeneth.' God alone can 'give the increase.'"
So, dear mothers, knowing that the outcome belongs to their Creator: keep sowing.