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Jesus used many analogies to teach us the truths of the kingdom. One of these was the lesson of the seed-grain, in which He compared the life of the believer to the process of development of a grain of wheat.
"Unless a grain of wheat falls into the gound and dies," He said, "it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain" (John 12:24, NKJV). This process is the same one we must go through if we are to bear fruit as we are called to do.
Let us turn to the seed-grain and see the picture lesson, that in these last days we may intelligently yield to the pierced hand of God and permit His fullest purposes to be fulfilled in us.
Joined to the Lord, the grain of wheat awakens to the law of its being and yields itself to the Son of God for sowing in the earth. It cries to God to make it fruitful at any cost. The purpose of its life begins to dawn upon it. It sees that there is an element of selfishness in being absorbed in its "own" advancement and its "own" growth.
The heavenly Husbandman hears the cry of the grain of wheat, prompted by the Holy Spirit, and silently begins to prepare it for the answer to its prayers. He prepares it for sowing in the ground by gently detaching it from the bands that bind it to its stalk.
It may appear as if He has not heeded the cry, and the little grain wonders why He does not answer; but the air and sunshine are doing their silent work. The grain is ripening, unconsciously to itself, until suddenly it finds itself loosened from its old ties. A hand takes hold of it, and it is dropped down into the dark earth.
What has happened? The little grain of wheat asked for fruit, not this strange path. Where are the sunshine, the old companions, the former happy experiences?
"Where am I?" cries the lonely grain. "Where is my cozy stalk? This dark spot of earth, so repulsive, seems to be injuring my nice coat; it was so beautiful in my little nest on the top of the stalk. I was so far away from earth, so far above all." So the little grain speaks within itself.
Presently it is shocked to find its covering beginning to deteriorate. So long as it could retain its exterior beauty it did not mind the isolation, the darkness, the apparent uselessness. But this is too much.
Moreover it seems to be "giving way" to its surroundings. It is broken by them and is not able to guard itself and remain "far above all" as before. It thought it would never be moved by earthly things again.
However, in spite of these strange dealings, the little grain rests on the faithfulness of God. It knows He will lead it safely by a way that it knows not. It cries with the psalmist, "I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God" (Ps. 42:11).
Loss of Identity
Poor little grain! Now trampled upon in the dark earth, buried out of sight, ignored, forgotten, this little grain of wheat was once greatly admired. How the other grains looked up to it and listened with reverence to its counsels!
Now it feels forgotten as it passes into solitude, crying, "I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none" (Ps. 69:20). It longs for other children of God who may "tell of the sorrow of those whom Thou hast wounded." But these seem to have no anguish of heart for suffering with others.
Buried grain, say yes to God. He is answering your prayers to become fruitful!
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