Everyone wants to be a redwood or a sequoia. Me? I used to want that too. But now I just want to be a seed. I can see the confused look on your face. Yes, I said a seed. A mighty redwood or sequoia started as a seed. The person who planted it nurtured the seed and then the sapling until it became a tree. We're no different. We might well have something great in us. But we don't start great. We grow into it, just like the seed. There is a good example of this in scripture.
Chapter 6 in Acts starts off with a problem. The widows were being neglected. But the apostles felt that their call was to spread the message of Christ. So they appointed seven men to "wait tables". How many of you know that in today's society, not many would have felt honored to be selected for this job. Most people today want the spotlight. Behind the scenes won't do. We gotta be seen and heard. We want to be "great". But there was one guy, Stephen. he was happy to get the assignment. And we should have gotten an inkling that something was up with him because of the seven names, his was first. And he was the only one given a description, "a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 6:5). This was the man willing to take on the humble assignment of feeding the widows. No spotlight. No crowds following him. Just obedience and humility. Oh that we were all like Stephen.
So the apostles went on about their business spreading the message of Christ and increasing the number of the faith. But then Stephen, you know, the one who was waiting tables for the widows? Yeah him. Well now we see that he is also "full of grace and power" (Acts 6:8). My thought is that with his faith and the filling of the Holy Spirit, he received grace and power. There was the nurturing of the Holy Spirit and as a result, there was growth, just like a gardener and his seed. But that is not all. The rest of that verse says Stephen "was doing great wonders and signs among the people". What? Wasn't he just the "waiter". He wasn't out with the apostles doing the "great work".
A mighty redwood or sequoia started as a seed. The person who planted it nurtured the seed and then the sapling until it became a tree. We're no different. We take that small humble assignment and we do it, we serve. And God nurtures, shapes, molds and grows us so that He can give us other things that require more. Don't despise the humble beginning of being a "seed". There is something great inside, waiting to be developed by God!