And so it is with all of life. We must grow stronger to support the beauty that will come. And so it is with flowers and fruit trees, with homes and bridges, with relationships and God. There is a popular song out, from a few years ago with the words, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger;” I politely beg to disagree. In the Kingdom of God, it is precisely what does kill you, that makes you stronger. For Jesus tells us that “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies; it bears much fruit.” The Apostle Paul tells us that, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Have you ever been there, wanting to die?
I remember crying out to God at the lowest point of my life, when everything was coming apart, when I couldn’t hold myself together any longer. I was crumbling, my life was crumbling; I lost my will to live. I begged God to take me home, to let this kill me somehow. I didn’t want to get out of bed in the mornings. I had Lyme disease, on top of everything else, and found I needed to crawl across the bedroom floor to the bathroom, in order to take a hot bath each morning, just to get moving. I wanted to die, but Jesus told me precisely this,
“Only One death was necessary, Carole.. that death was mine.” I call you to live and tell the world about my love and faithfulness.”
I replied, “But I lost everything trying to follow you here, Lord, everything.”
“Yes,” Jesus replied, “and when you count it all as loss, as dung, compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, Your Lord, You will see…truly see.”
I lay there thinking about what He said. I lay there for a very long time, it seemed. And then I just got up and started living again. I started getting into His Word more and more. His Words became life to me, the very reason I would rise each day. He still is everything to me and the flower in the first picture of this post is just a bud with the spokes reaching out like fingers to hold, to support the heavy blooms to come. And so it has been with me. It is precisely what killed e that made me stronger, that produced those strong supports, to hold the fruit God intended for my life. I believe I have only begun to see the buds of what is waiting to spring forth. But He is right, when I counted it all as loss….I came to know Him better, really see Him, know Him, trust Him. The supports had to come first, and the fruit is well worth, the death I had to die to myself.