The Seed Finally Germinated
NEAR Tokyo, Japan, three lotus seeds were recovered that experts determined had been buried in a canoe under a peat bog for 2,000 years. A lotus expert carefully prepared the seeds and placed them in water. Two of the ancient seeds germinated and developed into full-blown, beautiful lotus blossoms. Though they had been dormant for about two millenniums, under the right conditions the seeds could still germinate and develop.—The Plants, page 94.
In his illustration of different types of soil, Jesus spoke of another kind of seed, saying: “The seed is the word of God.” (Luke 8:11) This type of seed also can lie dormant for some time and eventually germinate when conditions are right. This is well exemplified in a recent experience in the southern part of the United States. It involves a young woman who had her first experience with the real truth of God’s Word some years earlier.
At the age of thirteen the girl had become quite interested in politics. One day the girl asked the family maid for whom she was going to vote in the election. Being one of Jehovah’s witnesses, the maid told the girl that she did not vote in political elections due to what the Bible says about the position of Christians in the world. (John 17:16) The young girl had never heard of anything like that. So in the days and weeks afterward, she followed the maid around the house asking many questions about the Bible. The girl’s parents objected to this, though, and they fired the maid. But the seeds of truth had already been planted.
There was no congregation of Jehovah’s witnesses in the town where the family lived, and so for the next five years these seeds of truth lay dormant. Still she made a vow to herself that when the time came for her to leave home and go away to college, she would again get in contact with Jehovah’s witnesses. She says: “I could never dismiss from my mind the things that I had learned from the maid.”
When finally she did go away to attend a university, she came across a copy of The Watchtower containing the article “Which Comes First—Your Church or Your God?” That moved her to write to the headquarters of the Watchtower Society. One of Jehovah’s witnesses was soon put in touch with her. Immediately she began attending their Christian meetings. She shared with her roommate what she was learning and she began to attend the meetings too. Both of them progressed nicely in their study of God’s Word.
During summer vacation the young woman returned home. She happily shared with her parents some of the good things she was learning from the Bible. Her parents were very disturbed and did not even want her to correspond with the Witnesses. Though she loved and respected her parents, she realized that she should not uproot the seeds of Bible truth that had been sown in her heart and that were now growing. Thus when she returned to school in the fall she again associated with the Christian witnesses and continued to share with her roommate and with other girls in the dormitory what she was learning. The young woman also began to make adjustments in her activities, as she was president of a woman’s Baptist organization, a Sunday School teacher, president of her dormitory and an officer in the student government at the university. She saw from the Bible that she should take steps to terminate her involvement in such activities, and she did so.
Also, she realized that another adjustment was in order; she needed to terminate her membership in her former church. A local clergyman she spoke with said he believed that the Genesis account of creation and other parts of the Bible could not be taken literally. Furthermore, he admitted that many of the things taught in the churches were of pagan origin. After repeated efforts on her part, the young woman was finally released from the church.
Continuing to progress in her study and application of God’s Word, she was baptized as a Christian witness of Jehovah. When home again on vacation she told her parents that she was happy to be with the family but that her conscience would not allow her to share in their religious activities at the church. Her parents made it plain that she was going to have to choose between her religion and them. Was the truth rooted in her heart so that she could endure?
She was scheduled to have a part in the Theocratic Ministry School in the congregation of Jehovah’s witnesses back in the university town. Her mother indicated that when her daughter went to give that talk, she could take absolutely nothing with her besides the clothes she was wearing. After she had arrived at the college town and handled her part at the congregation, she telephoned her parents to let them know that she had arrived safely. Her mother told her not to bother to come home.—Matt. 10:32-38.
This young Christian is continuing to make advancement as she regularly serves Jehovah God. At a recent assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses she encountered the Witness who had been the family maid seven years earlier. It was a thrilling occasion for both of them, but especially for the Witness who had first planted the seeds of truth. She told the young woman: “I felt from the start that you would take your stand for Jehovah, because you displayed immediate love for God’s Word.”