I plant pumpkins each year and give some away and others are left to sit around as fall decorations. This year, I had a two year old in tow when my one and only pumpkin was ripe for picking and so she and her ‘Boppa’ went outside to snip the big orange ball from the vine and returned to the house to gut it. It was an experience.
At first, my granddaughter wanted nothing to do with the flesh hanging from the insides of the pumpkin. Upon first sight, she quickly folded her arms together and backed away after I took the top off the pumpkin and she saw what was in there. She wanted nothing to do with it but when she realized it wasn’t all that yucky, she eagerly helped to clean out the inside.
After we finished, I looked through the pulp for seeds to save for next year and collected about two dozen. I allowed them to dry and then put them in a plastic bag and sat them on the kitchen counter for the time being. My son saw them sitting there and asked what I was going to do with them.
“I’m gonna plant them—all of them.”
“You can’t plant all of those,” he insisted.
“Yes—I can,” I replied, most certain.
“They won’t all grow.”
“Yes they will—every single one of them. I’ll have 85 pumpkins.”
His final comment?
“Just because you plant the seed doesn’t mean it will grow.”
It was so matter-of-fact. It irritated me. And then I thought about it for a few days and you know—he’s right.
Not every seed I have planted has grown. Some have stayed in the package past their prime planting dates and refused to emerge. That wasn’t their fault. I neglected them. In fact, I have a packet of foxglove seeds that my mother in-law gave me that are from 1939. There is no way I would plant those and expect them to grow. There’s no way I’m getting rid of them, either.
We may plant seeds in others of God’s truth and wonder why it hasn’t grown. We’ve shared God’s love, extended his mercy, been evidence of His amazing grace, explained the truth of His word, shown the need for repentance and… nothing. Lots of seeds – but nothing grows.
One of the most important things you could ever do for a newly planted seed is water it regularly and make sure it is a nice, warm, safe place to sit and soak up the sun. It’s that simple. But sometimes, no matter how right the conditions are, not every seed will grow. For whatever reason, it will never see daylight or if it does, it withers shortly thereafter. It will never grow or produce fruit or bloom.
As a believer of Christ, our life can be so similar. We attempt to plant seeds in the lives of others and sometimes they take root and grow. But there is another side–they refuse to grow. No roots form. There is no evidence of life above the ground. It’s the case of… “Just because you plant the seed, doesn’t mean it will grow.”
Ah yes. Our job is to do the planting. God knows what it takes to make those seeds grow – how much water, the best time to water, plenty of sunshine, and warmth. We have been chosen to be the caretakers and gardeners of those planted seeds. To teach those in which seeds have been planted where they are to run and find shelter in the storms. To teach them how to store up water in their roots for inevitable dry spells. To show them how to apply nutrients from God’s word, making their lives richer and fuller.
I will plant all two dozen pumpkin seeds next year. Some may not grow. But I will do what I know I need to do in order for those that grow to produce the best fruit possible… water, allow for sunshine, and provide TLC. I hope I do the same for those who have seeds lying dormant within their hearts. Provide some water, lead them into the sunshine, and feed them from God’s word. But there’s one truth I must remember that I have no control over…
I can plant the seed, but it doesn’t mean it will grow.