I remember a lot of baptisms. Keith has baptized in swimming pools, sunken bathtubs, and ponds. I remember standing right at the shore, cold water lapping at my feet on a chilly January night as a young woman came up out of the water with him, and wrapping her in blankets as quickly as I could. I remember him coming home one night, sticking his legs out of the truck door to show me the damp hems because a Bible study had resulted in the birth of a babe in Christ. I remember the night we stood on the edge of a swamp, bullfrogs croaking a bass chorus and headlights shining over the weedy waters, as he baptized a young man he had studied with for several weeks. I believe it was May and I remember thinking, surely God will keep the snakes at bay tonight!
I remember some neighbors up the street in another state, who had started coming to services, and her to our women’s class, and who wanted so badly to be baptized one Sunday morning, they wouldn’t even change into robes. “We came in these clothes, and these clothes are going down with us, right now!” the man said. I think we did persuade him to remove his wallet and take off his shoes.
I remember another young man who faithfully completed the correspondence course, asking good questions along the way, and then sent back his final lesson with the note, “I’m ready to be baptized.” He attended faithfully until he moved away. I remember another young man whose commitment was restored after a long talk, who brought his wife to us, and has gone on to begin a church in an area where there was none, still faithful after thirty years
God sends you other encouragements if you just pay attention. One neighbor had seen us leave every Sunday morning, and when suddenly she had custody of her three grandchildren, she called, wanting us to take them to church with us. We certainly would have loved to have her as well, but we didn’t look down on the opportunity. For two years those children were dressed and waiting every Sunday morning at 8:00. I have no idea if that has borne fruit, but I do know this—when the woman died, her children asked Keith to speak at her memorial. Something had been planted and it did have some effect. That’s all God asked us to do.
Sowing the seed is not a part-time job. For a Christian, it’s a career. Get on with it. No one will be judged by the results. Just remember that every person you come across is a potential field and everything you do can affect the results of your planting. That is what you will be judged on, not the number of splashes.
God wants sowers. He wants waterers, and, we hope, plenty of harvesters. The seed will yield its crop, but don’t get so busy counting ears of corn that you forget to plant the next row.
"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11