Plant a seed
As I am writing this new chapter of my book, I am sitting on my mattress in Hyderabad India. Today I want to write this to tell you that God is faithful and never sends us where grace won’t purchase us.
A few months ago, God told me to go to India. As exciting as it sounded, I was far from imagining that my job here would be so important. It didn’t look that important, it didn’t sound that important, it was just something that God asked me to do. It had all the importance of the world to me but to some people, it was just volunteering. Never forget that our God works under the surface. It might seem small but there is magic happening under the cover.
I arrived in India on Friday and started my work on Monday. The day I arrived, the other interns were telling me how disorganized people were here in India. Some of them had been waiting for a week with no job. It was like nothing had been prepared for us. I remained positive and calm and told them that everything would be ok. I’ve learned that God doesn’t just send you somewhere. He also has a specific plan for you. I knew that whatever problem the other interns encountered, everything would work out perfectly for me. In fact, I just gave pressure to the responsible of the project and I started work immediately.
This is not the best part of the story. God blew my mind away. I learned that before I got here, the responsible took the interns to a first orphanage (where they didn’t recognize Jesus). That orphanage mysteriously had a problem and couldn’t receive us, which led the leaders of the project to redirect us to another orphanage. All of this happened in my absence. They just explained all of this a few days after I got there.
Monday morning, we went to the orphanage. At first, it seemed like nobody was there to receive us. The interns were starting to get discouraged but I was calm, I knew my daddy had my back. After a few minutes, a little head appeared behind the wall, then another little head and another, and another. We were quickly surrounded by the most adorable little kids. We then met some teachers and everybody was happy that we had finally found a job. I went upstairs to visit the rooms and on one bed I saw two bibles. Before continuing the story, I want you to understand that in India, there is a lot of idolatry. More than you can imagine. They pray all kinds of gods, statues made from the hand of men, it is more than sad. So the chances for me to be able to find an orphanage where I would be able to talk about Jesus were small. One of my flat mates, Lina, who knew a little about the reasons why I came to India showed me the bibles and smiled. I was smiling too. I knew at this moment that at least two people here knew a little about the son of God. Then, they wanted to show us the roof, where the kitchen was and something told me to turn around, and there it was, the cross. A church with a cross. Not a statues of a ‘god’ with four arms but a cross. I knew…I knew that I was exactly where He wanted me to be, I was on the path He had prepared for me. I told Lina: “I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be”. She said: “Sophie I honestly can’t believe it. We’ve been trying to start working for days now and you appear and everything is OK.”
After this, it has not always been easy at the orphanage. Most of the kids don’t speak English. The speak telegu, which makes it hard for us to communicate. Sometimes we have some bilingual kids to translate for us but it is still not enough because their English is limited. Some days I’ve been tempted to get discouraged because they don’t understand everything and sometimes, they want to tall me things that seem really exciting but I can’t understand what they are saying.
I decided to pray about it. God works in mysterious ways. Since I decided to take my anxiety to the cross, He showed me the way. And you now what? It is so simple. Every time I open my bible, I find scriptures about love. The most important one for me was the one in Acts, when God gave Peter the vision of the animals coming down from heaven. He asked Peter to eat them but Peter replied that nothing impure even entered his mouth. God insisted three times then told Him: “What God declares pure, you shall not declare not worthy”. After this, two men came to get Peter and told him that he was needed somewhere. When Peter finally arrived to the place where God wanted him to be, there were many non-believers. God told Peter to pray with them and surprisingly, they all received the Holy Spirit. When other followers of Christ learned about this, they were mad at Peter and asked why he entered the houses of these non-believers. Peter simply replied that God told him that, what He declares worthy, we should not call unworthy.
I don’t know if you are following me here. I wondered if it was worth it to talk about Jesus to kids who couldn’t understand well. God whispered: Simply love them, simply show them. I am with you, just do your part. I would just randomly open my bible and find answers. I would randomly open my book and find answers. God was using al the signs to reassure me and let me know that I was on the right track. So I changed my perspective. Sometimes, we need to stop trying to conquer the world and simply plant a seed. It starts with the little things. In order to have a tree, we must plant a seed. Right? The same goes for the work of God. God was telling me to start by loving them. Not only the kids, even the teacher who prayed statues. I knew I had to love them all, to spread love and make them wonder where all that love came from. It was life changing for me. Repositioning myself has been the best thing ever. Now I am not focused on making them understand what the bible says but I am more focused on showing them. These kids bring me so much joy. They love me so much and I love them too. Today, one of them drew the Haitian flag. They are becoming more affectionate, they let me kiss their cheeks and they are happy when I hold them. It’s like they were never used to receiving so much affection before. They are my little angels. They might think I am changing their lives but the truth is, they are changing mine. They are touching my heart. I might not see them deciding to pray not, but I am 100% sure that what I told them about Jesus will play in the back of their mind at night and whenever they will face difficulties. I told them to never worry about anything, but to pray about everything (Phil 4:6).
Thinking about it, all of the major changes in my life happened with planting a seed. If Alexa didn’t plant a little seed in me, I would not be where I am now in my relationship with God. I am where I am because she’s been patient with me, she didn’t give up on me, she kept insisting that I went to this retreat, she kept believing that God wanted to do something with me. I am forever grateful to Alexa. Most of the times I found excuses to avoid the church, the retreats, but now, I want to cry thinking that I could’ve missed the call. If you are an Alexa right now, don’t give up on the person. They don’t understand why you are insisting now but later you will see the fruits.
Alleluia! Thank God for the little seeds. It starts with one person telling you about the love of Christ, one person inviting you to church, one person not giving up on you, one person sharing a verse with you. One….One little seed.
Don’t give up because the tree hasn’t start growing yet. Keep watering it. Hebrews tells us that now discipline seems painful but that in due time we will see the fruits if we don’t give up. Key word: IF we don’t give up.
Plant a seed today, in your home, among your friends, in your relationship, in your marriage. Nourish it with the word of God, spread the love of Jesus in everything you do. The seed might be small, but the tree will be huge. I remember the time I talked to this girl about her value and how God loved her. She cried and told me that it was one of the only times she felt loved. Wow. I was just telling her basic things but it planted a seed. Now she is actively growing spiritually, she is pursuing Christ and I can witness from a distance that God has started working on her. The changes that God had operated in me have been so amazing that I always get excited when someone opens the door to His love.
The little things matter more than you think. They are the ones who turn out into big things. I’ve experienced small conversations turning into salvation and I can tell you something, never judge a book by its cover. Some people might seem too deep into the whole but you will be surprised by how God will use them and change them. Remember the example of Peter. Only God judges someone of worthy or unworthy, not you, not me.
As long as we will be on this earth, our focus should be on God’s work. We should first fix our eyes on the kingdom and everything will come to us after. Love others deeply, take care of them, listen to them, talk to them. It doesn’t have to be something big. It can be a phone call to ask if everything is ok, a message telling them you love them, some flowers, a coffee, inviting them to have lunch, proposing to help with the groceries. God will use any situation to help you talk about Him don’t worry about that. Focus on planting your little seed. I always knew that the little things mattered the most but India has shown me how much they do matter. People rarely remember the material. Believe it or not, my grandpa has always given me the most expensive things but I can barely remember what they were. I just remember the times he didn’t spend with me, the conversations we didn’t have. Not trying to blame anybody here, I am just making my statement sustainable. My dad on the other hand never really liked to spend unnecessary money, Every time I asked for ice cream after school he said: ‘We have food home”. Yes I got upset at the time but today, when I look back, I don’t think about the ice cream I didn’t get, I only remember the times we were talking in the car when he took me to school. He used to tell me all about his childhood. My dad didn’t grow up in all the comfort I have now so he appreciates the simplest things.
See, the material is nothing. One incident and it is gone. We should plant things that matter like family, love, intimacy with our spouse and the list goes on. As you are reading this, I hope you will think about some things that are taking too much space for no reason in your life and plant the right seeds. Remember, in due time, you will get the fruits.
A travel lover