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“Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a seed; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24
The Easter season is a time when we witness firsthand the miracle of new life. Fruit trees leaf out and blossom. The grass turns from brown to green. Flowers spring up everywhere. It is easy to relate to Jesus’ metaphor of the kernel of wheat transforming into a fruit-bearing plant.
In our hope for new life emerging in our own experience, we may not be quick to grasp the significance of the kernel first having to fall to the ground and dying. Jesus is pointing out that something must die before the new life emerges. In a larger context, his own crucifixion is an illustration of this point. The human was released and the divine emerged.
The kernel of wheat comes in many forms, often as some perceived outcome we anticipate. Letting go would, for us, indicate failure. In her book, Lessons in Truth, Emilie Cady made this wise observation:
Do not fear failure, but call failure good; for it really is. Did not Jesus stand an utter failure, to all appearances, when he stood dumb before Pilate, all his cherished principles come to naught, unwilling to deliver himself, or to demonstrate over the agonizing circumstances of his position?
What we see as failure may simply be the need to let go of the lesser so the greater can emerge. While we associate falling and dying with a failed ending, we need to remind ourselves that the end of the kernel is the beginning of the new, fruit-bearing plant.
If you are going through a time of uncertain change, take time to consider all the new life emerging around you. This is the Spring of your life. The old kernels are dying so new growth can come forth. There is no failure in God, and you are in God.