“The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” Mark 4:26-29
Human beings are always trying to explain how and why things happen. Some pursue this knowledge to gain control over the world and their life. For another the reason may be that they seek some financial advantage this knowledge will give them. For others it’s pure curiosity. The primary motivation for the search may be different but the desire to understand what’s going on seems to be universal for the human race.
I’ve observed, however, that in regards to the most important processes in life the understanding of how things work isn’t required for them to work. When Jesus says, in our focus text, that the farmer doesn’t know how the seed begins to sprout and grow he reminds us that for millennia we had no real understanding about the reproductive processes of plants. We only knew that if we put seeds into the earth they would become plants and if we allowed those plants to mature they would eventually produce more seeds. The seed didn’t require the farmer to understand how it worked it only needed to be planted in the soil.
I’m thankful that we have, through research, come to better understand how many things work but perhaps, as a church, we’re placing too great a need on understanding the how and why. Prayer works but we don’t know how or why it works. Should we hesitate to pray for lack of understanding? Studying the scriptures has the ability to change the life more than the study of anything else. Should our inability to explain the how and the why of this reality hold us back from encouraging others to greater faithfulness in reading God’s word? The Holy Spirit is perhaps the least understood topic of study in all of scripture. Yet even though neither Jesus nor any of the Bible writers fully explains the Holy Spirit it’s abundantly clear that His presence in the life of the Christian is essential to salvation and spiritual maturity.
Some things have to be experienced to be understood at all. Many things in the Christian experience fall into this realm. It’s time we boldly stepped out in faith and obedience trusting in the one who made us