I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 1 Corinthians 3:6-8
In my college years I led a group of girls through the ministry of Young Life. Some of these girls I knew for three years, walking with them through junior high and their freshman year of high school. After praying for them, camping with them, trying to start a Bible study with them, they finally reached the point I and my co-leaders had been working for all along. They wanted to know Jesus, to be discipled, to learn how to read Scripture and to grow! There was only one problem: I was moving to Colorado. I knew Colorado was where God was calling me, and out of obedience I was going, but to have worked so hard for three years only to hand my girls off to another leader, knowing I might never get to see the end result, was heartbreaking.
If you are a follower of Jesus you have a role to play in the Kingdom. We are all given gifts to use for the glory of God (Romans 12:4-8). We all are called to labor and serve and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). But while we are always excited to hear amazing stories of transformation, sometimes we don’t get to see those stories of transformation take place ourselves. So how do you do your Kingdom assignment well if there’s no end result you can point to and say “I’ve faithfully fulfilled my role”? If you think about it, most people in the Bible who we hold up as heroes of the faith were in the exact same situation. Paul addresses this problem in today’s passage. While we see elsewhere in Scripture that he really did miss the people he had to leave, he also trusted God to give the growth, even when he wasn’t there (Philippians 1:3-6), and moved forward in obedience to what he knew God was calling him to do.
Today reflect on different people in the Bible who displayed faithfulness but never got to see the final result. Abraham or the faithful mentioned in Hebrews 11 might be good examples. Where did they work without seeing the results? How did God use them anyway? How did they continue to move forward in faith and what can you learn from them?
By Jessica Rust