A great story I once heard:

There was once a young minister who accepted the offer to pastor a church. In an effort to get to know his new congregation, the new pastor dedicated several weeks to visiting the homes of each of his members. The last stop on his trip took him to a farm at the edge of town owned by one of the deacons of the church.

As the pastor arrived, he was amazed to see the organizaton of the man’s farm. When they passed neatly arrayed corn fields, the pastor remarked, “God has truly blessed you with a terrific field of corn.” Next they passed the wheat fields. Again the pastor commented, “God has truly blessed you with a terrific field of wheat.” Shortly thereafter, they passed his apple orchard; filled with delicious and juicy apples. Again the pastor said “God truly has blessed you with a terrific apple orchard. Finally as they made their way to house, they passed the barn with all the animals and equipment. One last time the pastor commented, “God truly has blessed you wi…” But before he could finish his statement, the farmer interrupted him. “Pastor,” the farmer started. “You keep mentioning how God has blessed me with all terrific things. Well, you should’ve seen how bad it was when God had it all to Himself!”

The message behind this story is simple: While God does indeed bless us with the things we can’t necessarily provide for ourselves, we’re responsible for making certain things happen as well. The sun, the water, and the earth God provides is pointless if we don’t get out there and plant own our seeds.

“And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” – Mark 4:26-29