Iris woke with a start. “Where am I,” she thought. Confused, she desperately tried to recall how she got to wherever she was. Her dark, confining prison pressed in on all sides.
“The last thing I remember…hmmm…I was with mom.” Bits and pieces of her memory percolated to the surface of her mind. “We were home…what was she saying? …I remember, now! She said if I want to live, I must die first. Why would mom want me to die?”
Panic surged through her; Iris struggled against the weight holding her down as another memory flickered to life. “Someone took me from mom!” she gasped.
She didn’t see who had grabbed her. Her focus was her mom’s calm, confident voice. “Trust God Iris,” she had said. “He will never leave you no matter how bad things seem.”
An urgency to escape from her prison grew stronger by the hour. She continued to fight against the restraint that kept her still and felt it loosen ever so slightly with her efforts. “I have got to get out of here.”
Another scene wafted through her mind. She remembered the confusion she felt when her captor put her in that dark, quiet room and the feeling that an eternity had passed before he came back. But he did return; the one who had taken her from her home. A shudder coursed through her. Cold fingers of fear wrapped around her brain as the memories assailed her.
“Why did you let this happen to me God?” she cried as she continued to struggle to free herself. She was making some progress, but not fast enough for her liking.
“Oh God!” she cried as the reality of what happened to her surfaced to conscious thought. The memory of falling into a dark, black hole and then her captor pushing dirt on top of her was suffocating her. “Stop!” she had screamed. But he didn’t stop.
She relived the panic she had felt as she remembered her life ebbing from her body. Her last words, “God help me,” were muffled and unheard. Cold blackness surrounded her, then nothing, until just a little while ago when she woke up here. “Wherever here is,” she thought.
Her valiant struggle for freedom continued. Above her she could see a diffuse light and strained to move toward it. Her struggle wearied her but she was determined to get out of the prison that held her captive.
“God you promised never to leave me. If you are really out there, then please help me to freedom,” she grunted, as she struggled toward the light.
“I don’t understand why you let this happen to me. I don’t even understand what happened to me. I need answers!” Her angry prayer fueled by the realization that she was weakening.
Exhausted, Iris stopped. “God, I can’t do this by myself. I need your help and your strength to continue. Please help me,” she whispered.
A gentle peace warmed her thoughts. She started again along the path she hoped would lead to escape. Inch by inch Iris worked her way toward the light. Finally she broke through her prison walls. The sun’s warmth felt good on her tired body. She reached toward the sky.
Looking around she saw the one who took her from her home. There was no escape. He had seen her.
“Jenny,” he called to someone else. “Look, your flowers are finally sprouting!”
“Little Iris flower, I am so happy to see you,” said Jenny as she gently watered her. “Your beauty will brighten up this old flower box. I look forward to seeing your pretty, purple blossoms when you grow a little bigger.”
John 12:24 (New Living Translation)
The truth is, a kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil. Unless it dies it will be alone--a single seed. But its death will produce many new kernels--a plentiful harvest of new lives.
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