"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace
that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." Ephesians 1:7-8

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sowing Seeds

In April, we planted a garden. I shared with you how we prepared the soil and carefully planted our seeds. The next step was to water the seeds and let the soil soak up the sunlight, all while we waited and waited to see sprouts. Every day the boys and I ran outside to check on our seeds, hoping to get a glimpse of some green poking through the earth. Hopeful that today was the day we'd get a glimpse. It was hard to be patient and we were curious what was happening beneath the soil.

Within a couple weeks, many of the seedlings had sprouted. Oh boy, were we excited! Each day we continued to take care of them, checking for weeds and adequate water. It was a slow process watching our little bright green sprouts. Now we wait for them to mature and produce a harvest. More waiting!

I was blessed on Saturday to attend our church's women's retreat at a local botanical garden. The theme was "Sowing Seeds" and it was so timely for me to learn about how the kingdom of God is like a seed. Just like the seeds we planted in the ground, the kingdom of God is mysterious and living, planted within us and produces abundantly by dying.

Here are some thoughts shared that encouraged me.

  • "A seed takes time to grow. Much of the growth is unseen for a long time, yet there is still something happening below the surface." In our lives, the Holy Spirit is planted in our hearts and there is growth taking place even though we may not see it. 
  • "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6
  • "... humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you." James 1:21 
  • As God is at work in us, it takes humility to wait for Him to do His work. We must repent as we try to control that growth and believe with hope that He is at work. 
  • "Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." John 12:24
  • "Our part is not to run away from the pains but to walk through the briars and thorns and let Christ teach us how to turn each scratch into positive learning about the depths of God's love." Jack Miller
  • "Dying opens our eyes to the newness of life."
  • We can see God at work as we die to our self. 
The analogy of a seed needing to die in order to produce many seeds really struck me. Recently, my mom received a vase of beautiful sunflowers. Inevitably, these sunflowers had to die since they had been cut from their roots and would only last a short time in water. She saved one of the sunflowers and dried it out. From that one dried out sunflower came many seeds to produce more beautiful sunflowers. In the same way, as we die to our self we can rejoice that He is doing a good work in us and producing abundantly!

One of the speakers shared that as believer in Jesus (and in particular as a mom), we experience dying in three different ways. We need to die to our self due to increased time demands. We need to die to our expectations (as we experience broken dreams and broken relationships - either in our kids or in ourselves). Lastly, we need to die to our self as we wait for change (either in ourselves or in others). The result to all the dying is new life!!! "Just like Jesus' hour of dying is the hour of glory, His death brings US new life!"

As I muddle through the end of our school year, struggling with my reactions to unmet expectations I can be confident of this...it is GOD who makes all things new. He is at work, growing me and my children. He is changing me, even though I'm impatient and often can't see evidence of His work. The roots are below the surface, but they are there. I need to repent and believe. "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength." Isaiah 30:15

"Jesus is a lover of our souls and He doesn't stop pursuing us!" Amen!

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