Sunday, January 27, 2013

What's A Seed Have To Do With It?

A few weeks ago I noticed a new shoot emerging from a plant I have in my kitchen. I was thrilled to see it growing. Yes, I was giddy like a school girl. Why you ask? Because I am not a girl with a green thumb. I am the girl who kills a cactus. So, when I see something growing I am thrilled with excitement.

With a little closer inspection I noticed that this was not my plant at all, but something new. Come to find out, my husband planted a potato just to see what it would do. I can tell you, we have little shoots of all kinds of things coming up all over the house. He loves to grow things and I'm guessing, he too enjoys playing tricks on his wife who knows nothing about growing plants, much less a garden.

I do however remember growing bean plants. Remember those? You plant the bean. It loses it's outer shell and then before your very eyes a shoot grows upward and you can pretend your now Jack with your very own beanstalk. Come to think of it. It's time to plant one with my granddaughter.

That potato my husband planted is now almost six feet tall. So, of course that had me thinking and guess what my devotional study brought me to this morning? John 12:24 "I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop."

I have read this verse many times and today it was like seeing a new verse before my eyes. I love how God prepares us for His Word. I pondered this verse and had to read more.

Matthew 16:24 "Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If any one wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me."

Are you still with me? Just wait. It will all come together. I'm wrapping my mind around a grain of wheat and how I can pick up my cross. This takes change. A change in me. It's an outward change that begins in the heart. It's me letting go of my old self and allowing God room to mold me into looking more like Him. Yes, it's me, shaking off my old self. Growing out of my shell and giving myself to the Lord. Just like the grain of wheat. I too must die (to self) in order to have life abundant. I die to that old me and make room for the new me God is creating.

Look at this. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come." 2 Corinthians 5:17 As that old layer of self falls off there is something far greater that emerges. Life. Not only one life, but a life that spreads the love of Christ. Just how I looked closer to my growing plant. I knew it was different. That is how the world will see us as we move and grow closer to the Lord. This world will see an image that intrigues them. One in which they too will want to know more about.

We are to plant ourselves right where we are. Right now. Here today. Jesus is waiting. Here's the thing. Change doesn't occur over night. Change happens over time with tender love and care. It's watering and nurturing. For me, I'm finding the more time I spend with my Savior the more of that old self is gone. I'm more aware of who I am and who it is Christ is calling me to be.

I find myself in awe of God's creation. I watch the birds at my feeders each morning and evening. I am wide eyed in wonder as they patiently wait for their turn to sit at the feeder and feast. My heart is ready to burst open as I think of myself at the feet of Jesus, patiently waiting for His Word to touch my soul. I feast upon His Word and it brings me back time and time again. His Word renews my mind. It brings clarity and peace. Comfort and joy. I can find everything I need, right here in His Word.

I find a Jesus who loves me just the way I am, but as Max Lucado says, "God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus." So, here I am, feeding on His Word. Giving myself to Him. I lay myself down and am reminded, I am a daughter of the King. I am precious. I am loved. I am me, the girl, God created. He loves me so much, He wants to spend time with me. I then realize, He is my companion. My Perfecter. I give Him all of myself and He rejoices. He brings about change in some areas and magnifies others. I now find myself in Him.

When I realize who I am and who I am to be, it makes sense to pick up my cross and follow Him. He knows me. He gets me. He has for me greater things than I can imagine. It's when I die to self that I am giving Him room to do a work in me. Patience creates beauty.

Now as I look over at this potato plant, I no longer think it silly. God used this plant to create something new in me. It caused me to see myself in a whole new way and friends, that is the plan of our Savior. We are to see ourselves as His creation. We belong to Him and it is in Him we find who we truly are to be.

"For I know the plans I have for you-this is the Lord's declaration-plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13
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