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When Seeds Don't Seem to Sprout

Sometimes people come into our lives and rest on our hearts like a burden. It's not that they need Christ more than anyone else we meet, or that their souls mean more to us than the others we come across . . . but it's a deep kind of feeling, a deep kind of love, almost difficult to express until you've experienced it for yourself. It's a passion for the lost, and a gift from the Father—a glimpse of His great love for us.

I have a list of people who affect me that way, and sometimes even thinking of them is enough to overcome me with emotion. Maybe you have a list of your own. A classmate at school in desperate need of Christ's mercy, or a friend who doesn't know God at all, or a family member you can always count on for love and support, but never to share in the most important, most significant part of your life.

Sometimes it's hard not to feel powerless, when those people just keep going about their lives, seemingly unaffected by the lengths to which we go just to shine for them, to pray for them, to reach for their hearts. Sometimes it can feel as if our efforts are in vain, as if perhaps we're just not strong enough to bring them all the way. And sometimes, when we let Satan put in his two cents, we can wonder if we've done more damage than good.

It's a blessing to have a heart for the lost. We should feel a burden for every soul we meet, not just the ones that touch us directly or play the greatest parts in our lives, and while it is painful when we don't see results, when we can't take our loved ones straight to the baptismal waters, we need to remember who is writing the story. Who is seeing the full picture, and connecting the dots.

God knows exactly what people are ready to hear. He knows how much they can handle at any given time in their journey. He knows precisely what one lost soul needs to see, and what another needs to understand before receiving the truth. He knows what kind of friend they need, what kind of influence can change their trajectory. And He can work with the tattered rags of our evangelistic efforts to plant a seed in just the right season, just the right corner of a heart.

So be encouraged. Rest assured, your work is not in vain. God never brings anyone into our lives without reason; you have a part in this person's journey, so let it point to Him. Shine your light. Pray without ceasing. Never give up. Trust in the Lord. And remember our job: to sow seeds of truth. The rest is up to Him.

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