“If it dies, it bears much fruit.” Jn 12:24 ESV
God takes two days to grow a mushroom but sixty years to grow an oak tree. So, would you like to be a mushroom or an oak tree? Spiritual growth takes time. Have you been wondering, “Why is it taking me so long to improve? I am still struggling with many of my weaknesses.” Why? Because spiritual growth, like natural growth, takes some time. The best fruit ripens gradually. Jesus said, “Truly, truly…unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (v. 24 ESV). When Jesus says, “Truly, truly,” He means, “Now understand this! Listen! This is very important.” The point Jesus stresses here is that just like a grain of wheat has to die to produce fruit, so we also must die to ourselves to produce spiritual growth. And dying to our own self-absorption takes a while. Our inclination is to unearth the seed periodically to monitor its progress instead of trusting God to perform His work in our lives. Christ will produce fruit in our lives if we stay in Him. Jesus said, “Abide in me” (Jn 15:4). The word “abide” means “to live in.” Abiding in Christ means staying in contact with Him, depending on Him, living for Him, and trusting Him to finish His work in our lives in His perfect timing. Wait for God’s promised harvest, and in the meantime, delight in His presence in your life. God is happy with you at every phase of your spiritual growth. He is not waiting until you’re perfect to begin loving you. He will never love you one drop more than He already does.