The parable of the sower is found in Matthew 13:1-23.
No farmer ever expects every single seed he sows to germinate and bring forth fruit. He knows that some will be blown away by the wind, and some will fall in places where it cannot grow; but that doesn’t stop him from sowing. He is confident that even if some of the seed is wasted, the harvest will surely come. When any man sows the seed of the Word, he cannot always know the effect that seed is having. H. L. Gee tells this story in one of his books:
In the church where Gee worshiped, there was a lonely old man, old Thomas. Thomas had outlived all his friends and hardly anyone knew him. When Thomas died, H. L. Gee had the feeling that there would be no one at Thomas’ funeral, so he decided to go. It was a wet and windy day. There was no one there when the funeral reached the cemetery except one soldier waiting at the gate.
He was an officer, but on his raincoat there were no rank badges. The soldier came forward and standing before the open grave, he swept his hand to a salute that might have been given to a king. H. L. Gee walked away with this soldier, and as they walked the wind blew the soldier’s raincoat open and H. L. Gee could see that he was nothing less than a brigadier general.
The soldier said to H. L. Gee: “You will perhaps be wondering what I am doing here. Years ago Thomas was my Sunday school teacher. I was a wild lad and a sore trial to him. He never knew what he did for me, but I owe everything I am or will be to Thomas. Today, I came to salute him at the end.”
Thomas did not fully realize his influence; no preacher or teacher ever does. It is our task to sow the seed without discouragement when we don’t see immediate results, and leave the rest to God.