“You cannot force someone to comprehend a message that they are not ready to receive. Still, you must never underestimate the power of planting a seed.” ~ Unknown
Many things amazed me when I was quite young, as I am sure most children are amazed. Many things perplexed me as well. One of those that perplexed me was the phrase, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” The first time I heard that, I thought, “Huh?!” I couldn’t imagine a horse being led to a body of water and not stooping to take a drink. Of course, I had already made several unconscious assumptions: the horse had been ridden, the horse had been without water for a long time, the horse was thirsty.
What if those assumptions were not true. What if a horse had been ambling about. What if the horse had just come back from the ol’ watering hole and was satiated? What if the horse had absolutely no interest in water at that present time? Of course the horse wouldn’t drink under those circumstances. Neither would we partake under those circumstances.
We don’t know the needs and wants of people when we go to them in ministry. We might think that a person would be disposed to a friendly visit in the hospital or nursing home. What if that person had just received horrible news and wasn’t ready to talk about it yet? Our visit would probably not prompt them to speak.
We might think that someone would like a helping hand. That person might be doing just fine on his or her own and would rather that we go to someone else more in need. What we might take as rudeness or rejection might be their desire that someone else receive what we were willing to give.
In short, we do not know what is going on in the inner person when we see someone. We can still plant the seed of God’s love in them by our presence and by our offer. We can let them know how special they are and that we are willing to help if need be. We can also give them the gift of distance if they would rather have that from us. As long as we make the effort, we plant the seed.
Forcing the Word of God upon another will not make them accept it. Gently living the Word of God will cast seeds in all directions, seeds that will look for fertile soil within which to germinate, sprout, and bloom.
FAITH ACTION: You may not change a life today; but, you might plant a seed that eventually will help someone to change. Be patient and plant that seed today by living a life of love.