Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Wednesday, July 24, 2024
HomeAll The NewsTHE HEDGE: I Know Not How

THE HEDGE: I Know Not How

by Stuart Estes, U of A ABS Director

One of my favorite things that Jesus ever said is found in Mark 4:26-29 (ESV): “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

This passage is situated in a group of passages in which Jesus is describing some of the mechanisms of the kingdom of God. I have grown especially fond of these verses over the past two years because Jesus depicts the reality of ministry perfectly in what He said. Leading a ministry is a lot like farming: I throw out seed, then sleep and rise and sleep and rise. Then, miraculously, plants come up from the ground! To me, the best part of that passage is the phrase “he knows not how.”

That’s not my favorite phrase simply because it’s true. I don’t always quite understand how the things I do in obedience to God take root and flourish to life in the ministry. No, the reason this is my favorite phrase of these verses is this: I’ve learned God’s grace is most evident in the increases that only He can give. Let me give you an example.

This past semester at The Hedge we’ve been working on using the proceeds we earn from parking vehicles at Razorback football and basketball games to help students in need. So far, we have been able to help 15 students, with whom we had no previous contact, with direct financial support as a demonstration of the love of Christ this fall semester. This is an act of obedience, and when we first started being obedient in this way, I thought that as we helped students they would begin to plug in at the ministry. That’s not been the case.

I am somewhat of a meticulous recordkeeper, and I have kept track of every student who attended our Tuesday night gatherings this semester. I went back and looked at how many of those attendees were new visitors to the ministry and the number I came up with was 25. As I previously said, not one of those students was any of the 15 new students we helped out with our parking proceeds.

Here’s where my favorite phrase comes into the story because (you guessed it) I know not how.

My human mind could only imagine those 15 new students we helped coming to the ministry, but the reality is that we had more than 15 new students join us at The Hedge this semester. When we add the two numbers, our interactions with students we had not previously connected with on this campus were double the amount my human mind could conceive. How kind of my Lord to give the increase in a way that only He could!

Like I said, God’s grace is most evident in the increases only He can give. 

That’s what I see when I look back on the last month at The Hedge.