Be a pepper

True – my word for 2014 – has been impressed upon my heart in many ways so far this year. This week, we’re checking in on how we are doing with our word for the year.

I’ve found myself thirsty for The Word. Often in the evening, I’ll open my Bible to find what is the truth in a world of shifting values. Scripture has been encouraging and convicting.

pepper

Some of the old dried peppers, then new life on a dead plant.

And it’s made me fascinated by this chili pepper.

I wrote about how I moved this plant inside this fall and enjoyed its bright red chilis into the deep of winter. Along about March, the leaves shriveled and died. The peppers dried out. Spiders started building cobwebs over it. All well; it lasted longer than I thought it would.

No need to keep around a dead plant, so I set the pot out on the porch. It was also about this time that I came to terms with some personal disappointments. The little chili had come to symbolize defying the odds, so when it died, it seemed a fitting way to bury that hope and move on.

This spring was especially cold. It might have even snowed on that tropical pepper. But spring finally arrived and with great joy, I gathered new flowers and went out to the porch to make a fresh, bright beginning. When I reached to uproot the dead pepper stalk, I stopped short.

It was alive. A little green leaf sprouted from the bottom.

And I’ve been noticing how God makes it clear that in order for something to live, it must first die.

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels – a plentiful harvest of new lives.” John 12:24

Paul said, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20

“Since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him.” Romans 6:8

There is no resurrection until there is a crucifixion. This makes me really uncomfortable. I’d rather talk about “surrendering” my will to God, or “committing” my dreams to him, or “offering” my life. But this dying business takes it to a whole new level. But God says to die.

And then truly live, because Jesus – who is himself truth – said he came to give life. I want new life, but I’m still coming to terms with how I am to die to my self and my desires. But this chili pepper gives me hope that God loves to defy the odds.

Susie Pink

My hope is that I can be a born again pepper.

~Susan

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About Susan Mires

Susan Mires is a writer in St. Joseph, MO.

6 responses to “Be a pepper”

  1. Lora Young says :

    Such a timely post, Susie. Will I ever learn that His plans for me are so much better than mine? The C.S. Lewis quote I have on my computer is, “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable; think if it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”

    • Susan Mires says :

      Lora, that is a great quote. A lot of my thinking has been “upside down.” But getting right-side-up is not easy.

  2. julane hiebert says :

    Thank you, Susie. Great insight, and a good reminder for all of use–but I’ really needed it!!

    • Susan Mires says :

      I’m glad – not that you needed it, but that it can be encouraging.

  3. pagesfromstages says :

    Wonderful blog today, Susie. Thank you.

  4. Cherie Gagnon says :

    I really enjoyed this post. Such a good encouragement!

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