Seeds that Move and Seeds that Root

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me;
He has sent me to bring good news to the afflicted,
    to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
    release to the prisoners,
To announce a year of favor from the Lord
    and a day of vindication by our God;
To comfort all who mourn;
to place on those who mourn in Zion
    a diadem instead of ashes,
To give them oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    a glorious mantle instead of a faint spirit.

They will be called oaks of justice,
    the planting of the Lord to show his glory. Isaiah 61: 1-3
NABRE

Some seeds take root in the ground. Some travel by air or water. They morph from seed to sprout to stem and grow leaves, then fruit.

A letter from a missionary family arrived a couple of weeks ago. It provided updates with lists of praises and prayer requests. It was one in a series of such letters over decades that tells the story of a family. The letters reveal the heart of their composer: a wife and mother–herself a seed who traveled on the wind and brought forth much fruit.

This missionary mom is a rare poetic spirit–walking us through the triumph of seeing souls come to Christ–and the tragedies of her two lost babes–one miscarriage and one newborn who lived about a day–and the more recent loss of a teenage son due to cancer.

She’s had her own physical ailments, yet her faith stands strong. She has no regrets. She and her family invested their lives planting seeds of faith.

The remnant of this traveling family–now a couple with their living, now grown children spread like seeds around the world–have come home. Planting not just seeds but also roots yet holding the earth around them loosely.

A young couple I met recently has two young children and are preparing for a life of seed cultivation on the other side of the planet. They hold the earth around them loosely. Sitting in their living room a few months ago, their plans unfolded for a simple Christmas and then the big move.

Christmas for the little ones involved only a few items that would travel easily. Like the older missionary family, they live holding onto little here.

The seed that is me grew in the soil under my feet. Having lived in the same house since 1977, my roots reached deep in this place. My leaves are the colors of autumn, no longer the green of spring. The seeds I produced sprouted in nearby ground.

In her letter, the elder missionary mother spoke of the offerings she will lay before God someday–the fruit of her life.

What we lay before Him cannot be what we’ve held tightly.

We’ll have only the fruit from seeds planted in loose soil. Seeds we pray the Lord will grow into mighty oaks of justice–His plantings. For His glory.

So let it be.

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Photo Credit: Unsplash

33 Replies to “Seeds that Move and Seeds that Root”

  1. “What we lay before Him cannot be what we’ve held tightly.” After missing my offspring exceptionally over the weekend, this comforted me greatly this morning, Nancy. His ways are marvelous!

  2. Oh Nancy, this is beautiful. Convicting, piercing and beautiful. I know these truths to be so, and yet it is not easy to hold loosely to our blessings, the soil around our roots. May we keep our eyes on the eternal fruit that we bring to Christ, the One who gave all for us. May we be willing to produce His fruit, as He plants, whether by wind, fire or settled deep where we are.

  3. This brought me such comfort. Thank you, Nancy. I’m especially holding this in my heart: “What we lay before Him cannot be what we’ve held tightly.” God bless you!

  4. What a great challenge for us, Nancy! I love your words, “What we lay before Him cannot be what we’ve held tightly.” Oooh. How convicting and freeing at the same time. To know that I can release everything to Him. He is waiting to carry all of my sorrows, struggles, worries, and fears. Yes!

  5. This is so beautiful! It’s humbling to think how God desires us to plant seeds throughout our lives and then offer them to Him as our sacrifices from this world. My prayer is that I would never hold onto anything more tightly than I hold onto Christ!

  6. “They will be called oaks of justice, the planting of the Lord to show his glory.” Such beautiful imagery. I pray for those seeds the Lord will grow into mighty oaks of justice!

  7. What beautiful stories of these family as they serve and spread the seeds of the gospel. And like a good farmer, they sow no matter the conditions around them. May the Lord bless them for their faithfulness.

  8. I use the seed analogy a lot in my ministry, too. I think it’s a great visual and it helps us to understand that we can’t do any more than that—plant seeds. It’s up to God to grow them. That takes the pressure off of us, too, and puts it onto God. He can most certainly take that pressure better than I could! So, plant those seeds and let God make them grow. Amen?

  9. Hi Nancy. I think of Jesus whose soil was surely loose as He walked this earth. The perfect example He was who gave up everything for our sakes. Oh, to be like that for those who come after us. My grandparents bore great fruit and now about 4 generations later, the fruit continues to come. Praise God.

  10. I love this passage from Isaiah, and particularly love the imagery of the small seed maturing into a mighty oak. It is hard to imagine that the mighty oak comes from a small seed, but with water and proper soil and sun the shell of the seed cracks open, new growth sprouts out and then over time it grows and strengthens into a mighty tree. A tree whose roots grow deep and branches reach high into the heavens! What great imagery! It is a great reminder that our faith may start small and fragile, but if we nurture it there will be growth and maturity. And then we too will produce seeds that spread and grow into other mighty oaks!

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