“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it pro­duces much fruit.” (John 12:24)

Have you ever seen a seed ger­minate? While it is in the soil, the skin encasing it splits open. Next, the seed itself splits in two, and the stem and root unfurl. Gradually, the seed grows smaller as it nourishes the new plant. Eventually, the seed disappears altogether. If you were to look at the plant after a while, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell what the seed looked like.

What a wonderful image this is of the spiritual life! Like a patient farmer, God is always planting seeds in our hearts, waiting for them to “die” so that they can bear fruit. Each season has its own seeds that need to die—parts of us that need to break open so that new life can come forth. As children, we may be bear­ing the fruit of obedience and trust.

As young married couples, we may be learning to pour our lives out as we start a new family. And as sea­soned adults, our fruit may be that of more active involvement in our com­munity or church.

Again, like a wise gardener, only God knows which seeds need to sprout for each season. It’s no use trying to double guess him. And there’s no need. After all, he knows what he is doing!

Try something different in your prayer today. Look back over your life, and try to identify times when a “seed” had to die so that God could bring something new into your life. Ask yourself: “Well, I survived, didn’t I? And I’m better off for having gone through it, aren’t I?”

Now, having reviewed your past, see if there is something that God wants to do in your present. He is never finished with us! There’s always more that he wants to give us—if only we will let him bring life out of death!

“Lord, I want to bear fruit for your kingdom! Help me to shed my comfortable shell so that I can grow in ways even I can’t imagine!”

Jeremiah 31:31-34;

Psalm 51:3-4,12-15; Hebrews 5:7-9