Little seeds have such huge potential. They are so cute, and tiny, and so full of undeveloped goodness. Pour them out, and look at them…you are holding in your hand a future flower bed, vegetable garden, grove of fruit trees, or a huge forest. All that potential, in one little capsule of possibility. And, aren’t we like these seeds? I picture God pouring us out, and delighting in all the potential that He sees in us…the things we will do, the people we will touch, the glory we will bring to Him.
But before any of that potential can be reached, several things must happen to (and for) the seed, and several questions must be answered to prepare it for and facilitate growth. First, its purpose needs to be identified. What does it need to reach its full potential? Full sun, partial shade, amount of moisture…all will be factors in placing them where they will flourish. Next, the ground needs to be prepared. Nutrients are added to ensure optimum results, and then we wait, for the temperature to be just right before we put them out. Often, the seeds can be started inside and tended to in a controlled environment, allowing them to grow up protected and shielded until they are strong enough to weather the elements outside.
Our Father looks for similar things for us and for our growth. Our location depends much on our purpose, doesn’t it? And He is ever at work preparing our environment for us, mixing things up, putting good things in, pulling noxious things out, then waiting for just the right time to “plant” us, so that we can grow and flourish, and reach all that wonderful potential He sees in us.
An interesting thing, though. Is that before that seed can grow, it has to die.
And so it is with us, isn’t it?
Before we can send out our little shoots of new growth, before we could ever dream of bearing any fruit, or providing any shade, or doing anything for the glory of God, we have to die.
Consider the words and example of Christ:
John 12:23 Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
And Paul’s counsel to the Romans:
Romans 6:5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
If we are God’s children, we are in the process of dying, every day. It’s what Paul refers to later in Romans 12 as a “living sacrifice”. Voluntary on our part, and only an act of the will can keep us up on that altar. This is an act of worship, according to Romans 12, and is our “reasonable service” to God. Only faith can produce an act of worship that will die to self, and live for another person.
“And patiently they lay in hope, and God provides the rest. All we need is the faith of a little seed.”