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  • Kimberly Oden

Planting in Tears

This morning, as I read my One Year Bible, I came across a passage in 1 Corinthians 15 that made me giggle, opened my eyes to a bigger revelation and then reminded me of the Psalm 126:5-6 passage I read a few weeks ago. Paul is writing about seeds and about resurrection life. He writes, “If the dead will not be raised, what’s the point?...I face death daily...and what value was there in fighting wild beasts...if there will be no resurrection from the dead?”

The Giggle - The giggle surfaced when I thought this: “Wow, this reminds me when my four sons were little guys. There were days when I felt like I was facing death (of self) daily...when Tommas wouldn’t focus on math facts, or Oliver would ask the umpteenth time if we were going to go to LifeTime after we finished school, or when Isaiah would fuss that, “Talor is antagonizing me again...” (I would think - How in the world did he learn a five syllable word at the age of five??? I'll let you guess...) To be honest, in those moments, my sweet boys kinda felt like, “wild beasts”!

The Revelation - as I continued to read 1 Corinthians 15, revelation began to surface. Paul writes, “when you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first and what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a dry little seed of...whatever it is you are planting...” I suddenly had this thought: “What am I planting? What seeds am I planting in my own heart, in the heart of my marriage, and in the heart of my sons?”

Paul then circles back to resurrection life and says, “...our earthly bodies die and decay, they disappoint us, but when they are raised from the dead, they will be full of glory, full of power and...filled {to overflowing} with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit!” In the quiet space of reading that sentence, I had a, "what if" moment – what if resurrection life isn’t just about our new bodies in heaven, but what if God, in His all knowing splendor, let us remain on this earth for the number of our days SO THAT we might learn to die to our flesh SO THAT the Holy Spirit might have the space within us to reside, to fill us with HIS power, to become a vessel to reveal HIS glory? What if the death of self that silences the thoughts and words that spawn from within, is what allows the breath His life-giving Spirit to flow from us to everyone we come into contact with , especially our families??!! Like resurrection life here and now? What if those moments of frustration or anger or impatience with my sons were actually Divine opportunities or invitations for my flesh to die SO THAT my resurrected Lord might infiltrate me and filter my thoughts, decisions, words and actions? What if the seeds that I plant in my own sons, must first be planted in me?” Wowza!!!

The Reminder...Paul ends the passage with this: “How we thank God who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord! So, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless...” Parents, do you hear it?! Planting in tears WILL result in a harvest that is accompanied by shouts of joy! This journey of education we have all chosen is not an easy one, and yet if we lean into the Lord, moment by moment, allowing our own flesh and selfish ambitions to die, the Holy Spirit will then have the space to live in and through us, going before us, covering us and becoming a fragrant aroma of Jesus in our wake. His Divine love begins to calm our hearts, filter our speech and fill our homes with the peace of His Presence! May each of you stop long enough today to let Him infuse you with His love so that you might continue on, strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the work of your family, knowing FULL WELL that nothing you do as you follow Jesus is ever useless! Praying that you experience His deep rest with your family on this Labor Day weekend!


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