June 9, 2020
“…‘What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed…’” (Mark 4:30-32, NIV 1984).
His name was classically Hispanic, and he spoke only a few words of English. He came to be with his daughter as his cancer progressed. We could not speak the words of Christ to him, but we did show him the love of Christ. His daughter is a believer. The day he died, my daughter, his oncology nurse, went to comfort his daughter while awaiting the police. She heard the story of this man’s last days. He had not been a follower of Christ, but three weeks before he died, he saw a vision of Christ, fell on his knees and committed his life to our Lord. He then said, “I am ready to be with Jesus.” On his last day, as his son-in-law was praying with him, he slipped into the arms of the Savior.
There’s a beautiful story of salvation in the fourth chapter of Mark that I have never heard preached. It goes like this:
“…A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come” (Mark 4:26-29, NIV 1984).
As followers of Christ, we certainly have received a mandate to carry God’s redemption message to those we know. We certainly should be prepared and intentional in our efforts to do so.
But we must also understand that, “Night and day, whether [we] sleep or get up, the seed sprouts and grows.” The actual transformation of any life is always the work of the Holy Spirit and not our responsibility, not dependent on our power. We are witnesses, not transformers. Praise God that He lifts that responsibility from us, as it would be an eternal weight too heavy to bear.
I have no idea what part I played in this sweet Hispanic man’s salvation. But God grabbed him with a vision of Himself, and I am blessed to have cared for him.
Let me be faithful in scattering seed and let me trust You in the sprouting.