A seed almost gets lost in the palm of my hand.
It is so small, but its potential and purpose are great.
If the seed never germinates, it will never fulfil the purpose for which it was created. It will always stay the small, seemingly insignifcant piece of organic matter.
However, if the seed is planted, it bursts and dies. The cracked pieces of the hull fall away. The inner core is consumed. Suddenly, the death of the seed has produced a new life of something altogether different. A new plant emerges from the dried, crumbling pieces of the dead seed.
Jesus often spoke about agricultural topics. I believe He created seeds (and everything in the natural world) to help us understand spiritual truths.
He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, He must follow Me, and where I am, there will My servant be also.”
We were each born into the world with the purpose of being born again. Born a seed, we have the invitation to die to self in order to emerge a brand new being. Being buried in the dirt isn’t appealing. Being burst in two isn’t either. However, remaining a seed that gradually loses its potential to do what it was made to do is eternally worse.
The Lord set the best example when He humbled Himself both for the incarnation and for the crucifixion. Death wasn’t easy. He prayed for the cup to pass. However, when He was planted, He became “a spring of water, welling up to eternal life.”
After its death, a seed becomes a plant. A plant grows and buds. Finally, it produces fruit. The fruit fills baskets, buckets, or grain bins. More importantly, it fills stomachs- providing the energy needed to sustain life.
After we deny self, Jesus makes us a new creation. We grow closer to Him. He helps us to produce fruit that brings Him glory and influences others to give Him thanks.
But the story of the seed doesn’t stop there.
The Apostle Paul tells us, “What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain… so it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable!”
Fruits and vegetables are perishable; all our earthly pursuits and attainments- even for Him- will perish. However, He will raise us imperishable. Unfading. Unspoiled. The abundant life of the plant gives way to the eternal life of an immortal child of God.
And that’s a hope that makes the seed, the self, worth forsaking.