“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. The woman who loves her life will lose it, while the woman who hates her life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”—John 12:24-25
Jesus spoke these words only days before He was crucified.
On one level Jesus’ grain-of-wheat word picture references His own impending death, which would bring life to all who would believe in Him. But He seems to apply this life-springing-from-death principle to each of us as well (see also 2 Corinthians 4:7-12).
Jesus said His followers would be identified by their love. But demonstrating true love isn’t about conveying warm feelings toward someone; it’s about breaking off a piece of yourself and giving it to them (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 10:42-45; John 15:12-13; James 2:14-24). I believe the aroma of Christ most sweetly fills the air when one person’s life in broken and sacrificed for another’s.
I always wanted my life to be characterized by this kind of love and service. I found great joy in full-time Christian ministry. I thought I understood—and often lived—this principle.
Then I became a mother.
And for the first time I gained an inkling of insight into what these passages meant.
I was so naïve. Before I became a mother, I only thought of raising children as something I would add to my life. What I didn’t count on was how much of my life I would have to subtract in order to make room for my children. Somehow I thought I would be the first woman in history to care for her children full-time and continue to work full-time and keep a full social calendar. Clearly math is not my strong point. (Nor, evidently, was reality.)
I remember a friend asking me if I liked being a new mother. I replied that I absolutely loved being a mom…but at the same time I missed myself terribly!
At times I felt like I was falling down a deep, dark hole, wildly flailing my arms about in an attempt gain a hold of something—anything—that would slow my descent.
I remembered Jesus’ words from John 12. However all I could think was, “But I don’t wanna die!”
To be continued…(click here)