Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Story of Two Seeds

A life pleasing God has to draw its spiritual nourishment from the Word of God on a daily basis. This is what Peter tries to explain using the metaphor of the seed and sapling. He wrote, "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God" (1 Peter 1:23).

The metaphor is a powerful one. A seed normally has two halves (cotyledon) and a small plant sleeping between them (embryonic leaves and roots). Once it finds favourable conditions like moisture and soil the little sleeping plant begins to grow and peeps out of the cotyledons. The seed divided into two separate pieces by the sprout can be seen on either side of the little sprout. Then it develops small little leaves and runs its roots to the soil. In the entire process, the cotyledon on either side of the sprout provides it with nourishment for this crucial stage of its growth and turning into a sapling. Then once the sprout turns into a sapling the cotyledon (seed for the uninitiated) fall off, with the great sense of self-fulfillment. Their task was to provide nourishment to the sprout until it can develop roots to find food and leaves to process the food. That is the story of the perishable seed.

The sprout grows to a sapling and the sapling to a tree, left to its own fate. It has to find its own nourishment and grow. Finally the tree dies when there is a drought, when the roots cannot find water and nourishment. Or the roots may grow too weak and can't support the tree or find food for it. The tree eventually dies.

The story of the plant growing from the imperishable seed is radically different. The cotyledon provides the nourishment for the sprout to come out of the seed, to grow into a sapling. The sapling develops leaves and has roots but the cotyledon does not fall off. Being imperishable it will remain on the sapling and on the tree for ever. One day the roots may fail or may reach to bad water or dangerous chemicals but the seed (cotyledon) are there still on the tree (unusual in nature) to provide the nourishment.

The Christian life that pleases God is possible because it springs to existence from a different kind of seed which is the Word of God. The Word of God is imperishable and the Christian continues to draw nourishment from it. Many Christian lives shrivel and die in the heat of adversities because they are not drawing nourishment from the Word of God on a daily basis.

Some thoughts on suffering

Suffering happens when we lose control over the people and circumstances that cause our suffering. If we had control it would not have happe...