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GOD’S WORD FOR JANUARY 21 ~ ~ “John 12:24 ~ ~ “Truly, truly, I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a seed; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

Back when I was still working on my dairy farm, I was in the field, when the Lord brought this verse to mind.

He asked me, “what happens to a dry, ripe seed from the harvest when it falls to the ground?” I answered that the first thing is it gets soft. Then it hit me…..That’s what the Lord does for us in our lives….not only in the sense of what Our Lord was talking about in John 12, but there is more detail. Let’s personify that seed as our being—our mind, heart, and spirit—-all which determine our relationship to Our Lord and to others. Sometimes, in our Christian walk, we feel like we have fallen to the ground, and are dying…..not physically, but, our relationship with the Lord seems to wane. But, remember what happens to the seed when it falls? It softens!!!! The Lord uses these times to soften us….to make us pliable, and loosen up our “outer core”. If that seed could think, it would wonder why God seemed to abandon it to the ground, to be trampled on, run over, scorched by the sun, and ……what now????? Oh No!!!!! COLD!!!!! SOOOO COLD!!!!! Winter is coming…the ground is freezing, along with the poor, lonely, depressed seed…….

But, the Creator knows what He is doing in our lives!!!! When the ground freezes, the frost crystals break up the soil, and as it expands from the frost, it cracks….and there is a crack just under the little seed!!!! It is a door….God has opened a door….as He does for us….but the seed is fearful of what is beyond the door……… The poor little seed hangs on for dear life, not unlike how we want to hold onto our way of thinking….our faults….anything from temptations to sin outwardly, to pride, envy, deception, or, most importantly, not being totally open to God. This many times, is our greatest fault, because lack of total honesty and submission to The Lord is the beginning of all our other sins and faults.

But, back to the seed….it is holding onto the very piece of ground that it so despised a while ago!!!! Things are getting worse!!!! It is slipping into a crack….so dark and cold it looks down there!!!!! DOWN IT GOES!!!! All is quiet….the little seed, now cold and soggy on the outside of itself, is now surrounded by more ground, and it feels, like we do at those times, that it will never be able to please God, or even hear Him again…The seed went through God’s open door, but it wasn’t a glorious change….it wasn’t the bright, beautiful world that he thought doors from God should be… we sometimes, the seed was disappointed in what God had shown him…..Have you been there?

Maybe you married the one that you were sure the Lord showed you, but soon found that person disappointed you? Or you began a ministry, being sure the Lord opened the door, but nothing is happening? Maybe you lost a dear loved one, and didn’t think you could go on …….

But, in time, the seed thinks in the darkness, and comes to the realization that it can do nothing aside from God, and since God doesn’t seem to be around, it might as well rest in the knowledge that He will do His will to the seed in His time, as He does with us. So, the seed rests……all winter……

WHAT’S THIS????? WATER???? Warm water!!!! Spring has sprung, but the seed knows nothing of this. All it knows is that some change is coming, and it feels good. But wait….what’s happening? The winter has softened the seed even more, and it hurts when its outer shell opens and its insides swell!!!! What is happening?????!!!!!

Just like this, the Lord does a work in us when we don’t know it, in the “winters” of our lives, behind the door we fell through. Then the rains of the Holy Spirit come down on our spirit and bring it to a new life!!!! A life of growth. But, sometimes, like the seed, we may not like the change. The revelations and the commands the Lord shows us may make us feel like we will explode….like our life as we know it is gone…rotted away as the outer shell of the seed. Sometimes, we want to just leave things alone………….

But, LOOK!!!!! What is the result of the swelling of the seed….of the changes within our hearts and spirits…….the result is GROWTH……Beautiful growth of our ability to hear the Lord and obey Him. Beautiful fruits of the Holy Spirit coming out from us that we know were not in there previously…..The Lord is bringing forth fruit as a result of our “winter softening” As a result of each obedient act, another leaf, another twig, another branch will show on the beautiful garden that the Lord is growing. Remember, we are nothing without Him, and we are the branches, while He is the vine. We get our spiritual and physical nourishment from Him, and He continues to make us grow in His image, as we “Put on the mind of Christ” in every situation and relationship in our lives.

Thank you, Father, that You put us through what we need to go through, even though we may “kick and scream” about it at first. Thank You that You send Your Holy Spirit to comfort us and teach us what is going on, and show us that our Savior is right here with us all the time, and fell to the earth Himself, physically, to take the punishment for our sins. Please help us to live in joyful thanksgiving for these things and much more, as we fall, and rise again in Your great plan of Redemption. We ask these things in the name of Your dear son, Jesus Christ.

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