It Has to Die

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“Something has to die before it can be redeemed.”

I stared at my friend across the table, soaking in her words. We’d been sitting in the dining hall for a while, discussing life and love and pain and God. I’d been telling her what I’d read in 1 Corinthians and Romans lately; she’d been commenting on various theological ideas. It was a great, Spirit-filled discussion.

Afterwards, I went back to my dorm and mulled over her words some more. They were profound. I wrestled with the thought. The next morning, I opened my Bible and flipped to 1 Corinthians 15. And there it was: my friend’s words had echoed the apostle Paul’s.

“What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.” (1 Corinthians 15:36-37)

“What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.” And with death comes pain and grief and tears and anger. Why did it have to die? Yes, we understand that it must die to live. But why?

I’ve been wrestling with this. Our flesh must die for the Spirit to live in us. We must be born again. Our earthly body must die for our heavenly body to live. Our desires must die for God to resurrect holy desires in our hearts.

But what if my desire was already good? Why must it die? Why do I have to ache here and now? Why the brokenness? Why the death?

I don’t want to give a neat little answer and move on. My heart is still wrestling with these things. But could it be that God will take our good desires, allow them to die, and create something even more beautiful in the end? Could it be that we end up having that desire fulfilled but in a way that we never could have imagined? Could it be that God replaces that good desire with a better one? I think so.

So I will cry. I will mourn the death of good desires, of good friends, of good plans. But I will eagerly look forward to the resurrection that is better than I can imagine.

“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” –Psalm 30:5b

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