“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it;
but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
The new backyard garden spot continues to do a work in my heart. After removing the rocks and cutting off intruding roots, I dug five deep holes, then ever so carefully pushed the bulbs into the ground and covered them with freshly broken dirt. There they lay buried in the dark cold dirt. I raked my fingers over the top with great expectation of what will be.
Buried. Hidden. Alone.
I know this is the necessary process to grow plants that will produce beautiful flowers. Hidden and alone, soon new life and beauty will burst through the ground, and the gladiolas will stand tall displaying the miracle.
It was a holy moment in the backyard that day. No church bells rang, no choir sang, but a sermon was definitely preached. The birds seemed to sing a little louder as I watered the ground with my tears. Thank goodness I was alone that day, because any onlooker would have thought I was crazy.
Was this not exactly what happened to Jesus? He had to die and lay hidden in the tomb, but we know three days later He arose.
New life burst from that tomb and changed all of history forever.
That day changed my history because from His death, new life was possible for me. Jesus was planted that I might have new life. Here I stand tall declaring the miracle of God.
“Therefore if any man is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Praise God for the observance of Holy Week that reminds me once again that from death comes new life. Jesus, born to die, that many seed would be produced in kingdom soil.
Do I hear someone shouting out there?
So why do I squirm and scream when I am pressed into the dark place? Why do I fight death so hard, when I know from it comes life? Why do I run from being hidden away in a lonely place knowing that it is the very spot that transformation takes place? Why do I try to escape the pruning tool? Why do I fill my moments with so much noise, when His whisper is only heard in the quiet?
Because dying to self doesn’t come easy. Preserving and protecting becomes the motto of life in order to keep everything manageable. Fence-building around my heart feels like safety, but it actually pushes people to a distance and God even further. Jesus taught a different way:
“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. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:24-25
If you find yourself in a dark place today, may I encourage you that new life springs forth from the darkest and deepest holes. He watches over your life carefully and He sees you. You are not hidden from Him. One day you will be as surprised as I was today when I peeped into the new garden and found the bulbs had already sent green shoots up from the dirt. Be expectant dear one.
Lord, I want to trust you more when you push me into the dark lonely place. I long for faith to rise up in my heart because I know that death brings forth new life. As I say “no” to self and “yes” to You, may the miracle of new life show your glory. Thank you Jesus for laying down your life for me.
Thank you for resurrection!
I think I’ll join the birds and sing a little louder this Easter, because I know to be hidden in secret is to produce new beauty.