death before life


This seed must die before it can be cultivated--

I photograph gorgeous bush in my yard,
After viewing it,
I realize I'm looking at
death come to life.

I'm looking at His Word..............
'Except a seed fall to the ground and die,'
One faith-filled kernel, one eternal embryo,
fruition by the hundreds,
Thousands of bouquets.

And so I too,
before I inhale abundance,
must daily die,
Must die to my will, my way, my life, my self,

Why is it so hard,
knowing the beauty that will bud,
the vineyards that will be harvested?

Am I really clothing the perishable with the imperishable,
when I choose to die?
It seems I am giving up life for death,
Not the opposite.

Why do I resist it so?

This giving up of my way,
When I know He says,
"Your ways are not my ways,
Your thoughts not as mine."
(Isaiah 55)

Why do I labor and toil so
with the cultivating,
When I am not ready to
take up my cross and share
in the fellowship
of His sufferings,

When I am not willing to
give myself to the dark
soil of death. . .

I am not yet ready to be buried,
Prepare me Lord, for burial,
I have tried and failed---

God says, "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)

There is no stillness like that of the grave. Jesus, by His death, taught us death to self with its own will and wisdom, its own strength and energy: this is real test. As we deny self, our soul becomes still before God and He will reveal Himself to us.

............It is important to remember that it is God who works in us. For this to happen, our efforts must cease. Our hope must be in the work of God, who raised Jesus from the dead. Our waiting must become more than ever a lingering before God in stillness of soul, depending on Him who raises the dead and calls the things that are not as though they were. (Romans 4:17)

From Waiting On God by Andrew Murray, Bethany House, 1986, 2001

I long to be willing to deny myself, to take up my cross and follow You, oh Lord.

Posted in community with:

holy experience