“I tell you the truth, 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.” John 12:24, NIV
Have you ever wondered how a seed grows after it is placed in the ground? Seeds are made up of an embryo, endosperm (embryo food), and a protective coat. Plants produce seeds of all different sizes. Orchids produce seeds the size of dust while the coco de mer produces seeds that are up to 50 cm (19.7 inches) in diameter and can weigh over 30 Kg (66 lbs)! God has designed seeds such that they remain dormant until they are put into an environment of proper moisture and temperature. There are a number of techniques that gardeners use to break seed dormancy. One technique that is used is called scarification. Scarification is a process in which the tough seed coat is intentionally softened. Softening can be achieved using several methods: soaking them in hot water, poking them with a pin, rubbing them with sandpaper, or cracking them with a press or hammer.
As I was thinking about these interesting facts, I could not help but remember how well that they relate to some Biblical truths. For instance Jesus said, “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, move from here to there and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20-21, NIV) So if God can use faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains can you imagine what He could do with someone who has faith the size of a coco de mer seed?
Jesus used a seed parable again in the Gospel of Luke where he said that a farmer spread seed to the wind. Some of the seed fell on the path where it was trampled on and eaten by birds. Other seed fell on rock and it started to germinate, but the plant eventually withered because it had no moisture. Other seed fell amongst thorns, which grew up with the young plants and choked them. Only a portion of the seed was fortunate enough to land on good soil where it grew and yielded a crop a hundred times that which was sown. Jesus went on to explain this parable and said that the “seed” is the Word of God. He said that the “seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by perseverance produce a crop.” (Luke 8:15, NIV) I want to be good soil don’t you?
I’m sure that you are wondering when I will bring up the relationship between our faith and the seed scarification process. Don’t you feel like a seed being soaked in hot water or rubbed with sandpaper sometimes? Or maybe you feel like you are being hit with a hammer right now. Although I know that it is not pleasant, we should not fret, because God is always in control. In fact, the Bible says we should “rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:3-5, NIV)
The pressures of this world can work to crack the protective coating around our hearts and we begin to see our need for God. When we are willing to admit our sinfulness and cry out to be covered by Grace, a glorious plant begins to grow from the tiny seed of our faith in Christ. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we begin to die to our selfish desires, and God begins to use us to bring Himself glory and to produce fruit that will last for all of eternity.
When the seed softens, or cracks open, the truth of what is inside (inside our hearts) comes forth.
In other words, that which comes forth from the seed reveals the status of my heart.
Another thought, Dear Bill. That which comes forth from the seed of my heart is what I plant in yours…Food for thought.