Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Planting Seeds



Looking back over my life, I see God’s hand in every day, even before I knew Him.

Though I had made a profession of faith in my twenty’s, I was far from Christ. I felt I was drowning in a sea of personal sin I didn’t dare share with my Christian friends.
Fear of their judgement scared me in to my own private hell.

Then I went to a retreat where I heard Christians talk about their sins and God’s forgiving heart. My shell shattered and I cried out to Him and found freedom in the love and forgiveness He held for me. I made a promise then, “I’m going to tell everyone I meet about Jesus.” And I did. Friends turned away and “perceived enemies” became brothers and sisters.

Eight months later an accident severed my spinal cord. I came home weak and weary six months and nine days after my injury. My power wheelchair had one true asset then—it reclined. I withdrew from life, laid back and hid behind veiled eyes. I refused to face my future.

The cost was high in body, mind and spirit, but God’s blessings are phenomenal. In His infinite wisdom, He prepared the way. Earl had served as a hospital chaplain on a reconstructive surgery floor where many of the patients had a spinal cord injury. In rehab, the staff taught us how to take care of me at home. According to them, I would live to within five years of my natural lifespan if I had something to look forward to and got out of the house routinely.

Earl took me on nearly every pastoral visit and preachers meeting he went to, but I just leaned back in my wheelchair with my eyes closed. He encouraged me to keep a journal and try teaching Sunday school. He loved me even when I failed.

As I filled those roles with study and preparation, I learned more than I taught. I read the story about how David sinned but was a man after God’s heart.* Job lost everything yet said, “Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him.”** I began sharing my story of God’s faithfulness again and grew stronger in my faith each time. I wrote my brief story and passed it out as a tract to everyone who spoke to me.

While in a small group studying Steve Harper's Devotional Life in the Wesleyan Tradition many years later, a friend pointed out my seemingly fearless sharing of my faith. I made light of it, “I just tell what God has done for me, but I’ve never led anyone to accept Christ.”

She said, “You may not have, but you have planted many seeds. You may never know until you get to heaven how many people are there because of your testimony.”

Those words have encouraged me to be bold as I tell my stories of His faithfulness to friends and strangers. Old and young. Churched and un-churched. In stores, in doctors offices or on the telephone with sales associates. Earl says, “Imagine that, Berta’s talking.”

Jesus tells us to make disciples. You too can plant and water to prepare hearts for God’s harvest. Trust Him and tell what He has done for you.

Paul wrote, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6 NRSV).

In Christian Love,
Berta

*Acts 13:22 KJV
**Job 13:15 KJV

13 comments:

  1. We all plant seeds in our walk with Jesus. People know we belong to Him just by our demeanor. Bless you as you share your story with others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right quietspirit. Keep on planting and watering!
      Berta

      Delete
  2. I am not giving up but I must not say the right things and I am not knocking myself but yesterday I went to a meeting in Seneca and I felt real good because God had showed me something Sunday that I had never seen for myself in 4 years. Mine was judgement toward another and a great big sin .. so even if this goes off I was able to confess on it and God has forgiven me. Sorry Berta that I took your space on here. God is Good all the time...God Bless Berta...


    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, never give up--keep going forward in Christ. No sin is greater than another and God forgives all when we confess. May God bless you with forgiving yourself as well.
      Berta

      Delete
    2. I almost just did .. God is Good All The Time, All The Time God is Good....

      Delete
  3. Berta, I never plan to give up.. And I have forgiven myself and so has God...your right no sin is greater than another Keep telling us
    your stories.. God Be With you,Berta




    ReplyDelete
  4. ..he that goes forth and weeps ,bearing precious seed, shall no doubt come back rejoicing brings his sheaves with him.. I got that in Psalm 126:6 You write your testimonies and are very blessed
    with what you write...I didn't put what I first wrote that was selfish "May God Bless"
    and you keep up the great work for the People and most of all for The Lord...
    sisters of Christ....Marge
    and are so blessed with them

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Marge.

      Delete
  5. Great Post! You Go Girlfriend! Keep on telling and glorifying Christ then leave the results up to God. I do pray that God will give you a glimpse of your effectiveness in honor of your efforts. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mary Jane! Your blog, Joy in the Morning, is very thoughtful and interesting. You get right to the Truth and I love it. God bless. I subscribed.

      Delete
  6. Blessings to you He already has... God Bless you....

    ReplyDelete