1 Corinthians 3:6-11 (NRSV)

6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. 9 For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:6  (NIV)

6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow

DEVOTION – Dolly Dickinson (North Carolina)

One of my goals on a mission trip to Cambodia was to teach local mission workers to write devotionals for The Upper Room.  I began by showing them an issue that contained a devotional I had written.  Then I encouraged them, “You can do this, too.  The Upper Room is always looking for more writers from other countries.”

As I began to teach, my biggest problem was that English was not the students’ first language.  Each time I opened my mouth to begin a sentence, I had to be careful to use clear language.  I explained that a good devotional uses a personal experience to connect to scripture and shares a lesson about how we can live faithfully with God.  During class, I tried everything I could think of to engage the students.  I had them read scripture in their own language and use metaphors from their own culture.  Throughout our time together, they listened politely but with little interaction.  In the end, I felt like a failure.

The next day I returned to the mission.  There, Sithy – one of my students from the “failed” session – shyly handed my her writing.  It was so good I wanted to cry.  through this experience, I learned that God can overcome the obstacles that make us feel like failures.  Our job is just to show up and do our best, leaving the outcome to God.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God can turn our “failures” into successes.

PRAYER: Dear God, we are working for you.  Teach us to do our best and to leave the results to you.  amen.