Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sowing and Reaping

“I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labors” (John 4:38, NIV 2011).

She stopped and stunned me this year, just prior to our annual medical student retreat in Albania.
“I came to Christ at the conference last year because of your testimony. You saved my life.”
I was definitely stunned, for rarely does someone say such things to me. Fortunately for my pride, she clarified that it was not really me but all who brought testimony the previous year. I asked her to tell me her story:
“I live in Vlora, a beautiful city by the sea. I always knew there was a God because of His presence in the beauty of nature around me. When I was young, I had a wonderful family around me: my sister, my mother and my father, who loved me.”
Tears came to her eyes.
“When I became seven, my father died. It was very hard. Last year I came to medical school and learned of the Christian students. I came to know Bella, who is wonderful. I came to Durres to the conference last year and felt God touching me. I don’t know if it was you or Dr. Mark who told the story of the man who loved the fishes, but, every time he would reach his hand into the sea to touch them, they would scatter because they did not understand his love. Then one day the man decided to become a fish---and then they understood. The week after the conference I went to church and accepted Christ as my Savior.”
I have no idea who told the fish story, but praise God for speaking to her.

“Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true” (John 4:37, NIV 2011).

I certainly wish that I had been given the gift of evangelism. I was not, though I have begged for it in the past. God has gifted others with that blessing and that burden. Nevertheless, I am called to be part of the process, sowing and reaping. The coming of one to Christ is almost always a process rather than a moment. We each have our part to play with deliberate intent.

Step by step in this young woman’s life: a loving home, God visible in His creation, the loss of her father, her separation from the family she loved, finding a wonderful Christian friend in school, a message about fish, a church visit one week later. Each step along the way, God was working. Somewhere in the process, I got to touch His work. One sows, another reaps… all God…sometimes through us.

Dear Father,
Let me complete the task you have set aside for me as you bring in your kingdom.

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