At the Nest, I have adopted an unofficial tagline that says, “good things grow here”, meaning that we are a place that bears good fruit and sees harvest in the lives of the families we serve. While this is good to think about in theory (and pat ourselves on the back in the process), it’s not completely true. In 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, Paul tells the church in Corinth the following:
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
-1 Corinthians 3:6-7
At the time Paul wrote this, the church in Corinth was struggling with dissension among its members about the value of varying spiritual gifts (you can read more about those in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10). His gentle rebuke in his letter is designed to remind the community that all gifts are important to the body as a whole. For us to esteem any one part over another is unproductive.
The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.
-1 Corinthians 3:8
This next part of this passage reminds us that, just like our body parts, we each serve an essential purpose. The ear cannot do what the nose does. Nor can the ankle fulfill the same function as the patella. They are designed to fulfill those functions. We are most successful when we are doing what God has designed us to do. This is our purpose; and when we operate in purpose, there is a reward.
For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
-1 Corinthians 3:9
This final verse in this passage reminds us that it is only God that does the growing. It’s God’s service, God’s field, God’s building. As members of the greater kingdom of God, we get to play a small part in the life journey of the families who come our way. The work we pour into our mission at the Nest is admirable and God-ordained. We see many successes, but there are days when we see challenges and disappointments. Even if every day showered us with loads of sunshine, we realize that we don’t always get to complete the work that we begin with a young mom. This is part of understanding the value of every moment we get to spend with our moms and babies, no matter how brief. As co-laborers in the work of the ministry, we can trust God to provide the people who will walk with a mom through the next leg of her journey. Good things do grow here, but it’s less about what we do, and more about what God does through us. Holding on to that faith, we know that our work is never in vain.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
-1 Corinthians 15:58