"He who has ears, let him hear."
Have you ever heard about sacred lotus seeds? The ancestor of the modern lotus, these seeds are one of the oldest viable seeds in the world, meaning that some which were recovered in a dry river bed in China in the 20th century were judged to be 1200 years old, and they still got them to sprout!
What the lotus does to survive, is first to prolifically sprout seeds willy nilly. Then, nothing happens. For years, maybe hundreds of years. The seeds wait, possibly so they will survive getting eaten right away by greedy herbivores. In order for the lotus seed to sprout, its hard, shiny outer coat must be scraped off. Modern botanists and gardeners achieve this a variety of ways, but the cheap method involves sandpaper and lots of scraping time. Scrape too little, and nothing happens, but scrape too hard and you risk killing the seed. If all goes according to plan, the seed is immersed in water, (the lotus is a water plant )and within days a shiny sprout comes forth.
I thought about the lotus this morning in church, and how the gospel lies dormant in some hearts for years before it can be germinated. And in order for it to be germinated, it may take some scraping and hurting on the outer shells of the heart in order for people to respond.
This is relevant for Christians, too, whose hearts are hard. Sometimes it takes the diligent scraping away of our outer shells in order for us to grow. We may ask, "Why am I getting roughed up so much?" when the answer is that our master cultivator knows that we cannot grow without getting scraped up a little along the way. Take heart that He knows exactly how much hardship we need, and will not destroy us, merely prepare us to hear Him.
What about you? Have you been hardening your heart against Him? This will only cause you more pain, because Your Lord loves you too much to let you stay as you are! Eventually, even for the lotus, if a seed is not germinated, it will die. Growth is your only option in order to live.
"He who has ears, let Him hear."