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Seasons of Suffering

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life
— Jesus, Gospel of John 12.24-25

It sometimes bothers me that Jesus is so straightforward. 

There are seasons where we will face death before the final curtain. 

It can arise from a thousand different sources, but Jesus is honest: for the Christian, and every human being, there will be seasons of loss. Loss deep enough that it is like dying, a sort of spiritual dying. And it hurts. 

So simple...but He doesn't stop there.

For those who love Jesus, every form of death conceals life beneath. 

Just like a seed from a living tree falls to the earth. It dries up, sinks below the dirt, and is buried.

Death. 

But our souls are like that seed. As they die, and the shell of the seed is cast away.

When the shell comes off, as it often does in suffering, new life begins. 

Life.

Nourishment comes from the soil. Refreshing water is drawn into the dry cells. Nature itself works to bring life to that little seed. 

It is the same with our souls. Suffering can feel like death. 

But our souls are being worked on, just like that seed, to bring us life.

In dependent relationship with Jesus, through prayer, journaling, struggle, conversation, and perseverance, the shell of our souls is shed. And we begin to be open, really authentically, honestly open to God.

We are exposed to the nourishing life of the Spirit of God in relationship with Jesus.

In this deepened relationship we can experience a personal relationship with God who made us, and begin to slowly grow.

Jesus led the way on the Cross, we follow Him.

These are the first steps of bearing fruit. 

If you would like to talk more to a Spiritual Director about this, don't hesitate to inquire below.