We are waiting. All these cold winter months, we are waiting. Every year it happens, and every year it's a powerful metaphor once again that the dead months are necessary to produce the life that comes later.
"Unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." ~John 12But who buried the seed... was it me? Or God? We often like to think of that metaphor as though it means that anything hard we are going through is some kind of martyrish, necessary "death" which in time will produce some great good. And yet there are all those times when we bring those dark, winter months on ourselves. When our difficult circumstances are not a result of external forces, but of our own fault.
I have often read the "You have found favor with God" statement to Mary, and so badly wanted to grasp it for myself, wishing it could apply to me as well, but couldn't seem to do it. Sometimes there have been areas I was not submitting to Him in, that I wasn't letting Him show me my wrongdoing in, and I didn't feel his favor. When you suffer because of your own waywardness, it's hard to feel too much comfort.
Then there are all those words in Hebrews about the Lord chastising those He loves, and disciplining the son He delights in. In fact, it says that his discipline is a sign of his love. And of course, as a parent I can readily relate to that. It has brought me back to the fact that as a child of His, I do find favor with God, but that favor does not always come without fury. He is committed to me and to all of His children; to their holiness, their perfect delight in the Best Things. And when we go off and do things our own way, we will get disciplined as his favored children.
I feel the death in that. Letting Him show me things about myself that I do not want to admit or change, is nothing short of soul stripping.
This is the death of the seed that I want and need. Not a woe-is-me-but-some-good-will-come-of-this metaphor. But a real surrender.