By JENNY SEYLAR
I had a great time canoeing with friends, and thought nothing of my garden while I was away. When I returned the Tuesday after Memorial Day, I walked to the back of the yard to survey the progress in the garden. It had been less than a week since I planted, and I fully expected to find the level area of dark soil that I had left before the trip. What I saw surprised me! Life had sprouted in the time I was away. The black soil was teaming with two and three inch plants. It turned out that while I was away, there was just the right amount of sun and rain to germinate and grow the seeds. It’s amazing that a tiny seed, when placed in the loamy soil, becomes a thriving plant.
I have found this principle to be true with the Bible. Sometimes I read familiar passages with one expectation, but God shows up in new ways on those pages and brings new life to what I’m reading. It’s almost as if I am reading some of those passages for the first time because they were beginning to sprout a new yearning in my heart for God, a deeper and richer understanding of His truth and His love. I have found the more I read and study, the more desire for the Word. Old negative habits, well worn into the fabric of my character, begin to die away as my faith begins to grow and change from the spiritual truths I am learning. I have discovered that there is inspiration in the Bible that empowers and guides me to live my day-to-day life in a way that is more like Jesus Christ.
In the Gospel of John, I am reminded of how Jesus had to die in order to bring forth life. John 12: 23-24 (CEB) Jesus replied, “The time has come for the Human One to be glorified. I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Jesus died so God could act on my behalf, allowing me to receive not only eternal life, but a richer, more abundant earthly life as well. It was in Jesus’ death and resurrection that the faith journeys of all us who come after Him are enriched and blessed. It is through Him that we can push through the hard soil of our hearts and yield a harvest much greater than we anticipate on our own. It is surprising; it is wonderous. But that is the blessing of Christ.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT What habits in you must die so that God can germinate new ones in your life? How hard is it for you to let go of the old habits to which you embrace so tightly? Consider why you have such a firm grip on those things when you know they prevent you from sprouting and growing in your walk with God. We are people who were created to grow and thrive. We do that best when we allow God to work in our lives. Each faith encounter grows the seeds God plants. My friend, that does not happen unless we seek God out through prayer, Bible reading, and time with others discussing how Christ is working in our lives. How might you allow God to grow the seeds of faith in your heart? What needs to change in your daily living to make that happen? Make a commitment this week to read the Bible so God can help your faith grow.
PRAYER God of Life, You have placed all I need for life in the shell of a tiny seed. You have also placed in my heart all I need to live a full and complete life in Your Word and in our collective faith as Christ’s followers. Spur in me the desire for You and for Jesus, the One whose life, death, and resurrection allow me to experience salvation. I don’t always have the answers, but You always do. I don’t always have the strength, but You faithfully hold me in those moments and lend me Yours. You are so good! Thank You for the gift You give me, not only in life on this earth, but in the life to come. Amen.
In 2017, Jenny’s husband of 28 years unexpectedly died while on a training bicycle ride. In the aftermath, Jenny and her 3 grown kids, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter, have sought ways to find joy in the everyday miracles that make up this life. You can read more about Jenny Seylar and her ministry at www.lovelylane.org or her blog “Journey From Despair to Hope” at https://journeyandstrength.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/through-the-lens-of-grief/
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