One Small Seed (October 2017)

A little while ago, I found myself walking in the countryside.  I noticed on the grass at the foot of some trees some small, round, green objects.  I picked a few up.  They were too small and round and soft to be like acorns.  They were too large to be like ordinary seeds.  They had clearly fallen off a nearby tree or bush, but I do not have any idea what they came from.  They were so soft and round, that I held one in my hand for quite a while.  As my walk progressed, I looked at it repeatedly.

Although I had no idea what it was, it was clearly destined to grow into something large.  That seed itself does not have any need to understand the fancy names given to it by botanists.  It would just do what it was meant to do, if left alone, that is.  God knows where it came from.  God knows what it has within it to grow into.  God created this perfect, tiny object, and gave it the potential to become the large shrub.  That is how that seed will fulfil it’s purpose in this world, through growing and flourishing as God had intended it to.  Who knows what colours or shapes or sweet tasting fruits that might involve.  But the fully grown plant or tree would inevitably be many hundreds or thousands times bigger than that tiny little seed.  It would become something that looks nothing like the original seed.

The parallel with ourselves struck me...

God sees each of us as a seed.  If we allow Him, and His Holy Spirit to work in and through us, we will grow as He intends. 

Each of us is different.  If we flourish, we will become our own person, with gifts He decides to bestow on us.  Each of us may produce fruits – fruits of the Spirit in our lives, and they will all be expressed quite differently in each of us.

The fruits of the Spirit, as described in Galatians 5 (vv22-23) are:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control.  As we know when we think about different Christians we know, not everybody has all of those in equal measure all of the time.  Some people are ‘naturally’ more patient than others.  Some find gentleness easier than others.  It is a good exercise for all of us to prayerfully look through that list, and to think about which of those am I strongest in, and which of those do I lack the most?

It is not a matter of ‘failure’ to admit there are some of those fruits we need more of, within our make-up. We are called – all of us – to ask God to increase the work of His Spirit in our lives.  And one way to seek that, is to ask God to increase a particular fruit within us.  And we know that of all the things we can ask God for, if we ask for the Holy Spirit, he will never hesitate to answer that prayer (see Luke 11.13).  God will delight in increasing the fruits of the Spirit in our lives:  especially love and joy and peace.  Think of the peace a bush shows as it grows its roots deep into the soil so that it can become tall, strong and quiet, and then joyfully bursts out into colour with its flowers.  That is how our heavenly Father wants each of us to be, as we root our lives in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Tina Upton

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