During a crisis a long while ago, when I faced my own fragile faith, a friend gave me a tiny charm filled with mustard seeds that I could wear on a necklace or bracelet.
New to the Christian world, I didn’t have any sense about the relentless loyalty of a faithful God. I also read for the first time Jesus’ words about mustard seeds, directed to those like me of little faith, “For most certainly I tell you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”
His words astounded me, those are powerful words about a tiny seed, and faith.
I often look at my tiny charm and think about this mighty seed that Jesus goes on to describe more in another parable, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”
That tiny mustard seed is a storehouse of faith, a restless, welcoming faith that holds the assurance that God will not leave or forsake us. Within it’s minuteness, a tiny seed of faith holds within it the spirit of truth, the powerful knowing we can rest in thee. In the winters of lives, tiny seeds of faith blaze trails of hope through snow-drifts of worry and fretting, through dark, icy roads of bleakness and dread. Like Jesus says, even a tiny seed will bring new seasons of fruitfulness, spreading wide it’s branches into our future, becoming shade for others to rest with thee.
Yet, these seeds of faith need nourishment to thrive. During trials, transitions, and phases of arid faith, scripture nourishes the dry soil of our parched hope. Meditating on scripture grounds us in the realization that the spirit of truth, the living water, is available to us, right here right now – but we must drink from the cup. We must quench the thirsting tiny mustard seeds of faith lest they wither and harden, becoming like stone hard pebbles that can’t take root. When we sup on God’s words of truth, they sink like anchors into tumultuous seas of our fears and doubts, rooting deep into their depths an unwavering faith where we humbly wait for God’s grace.
Yet, how I am so like Peter who in the stormy seas, steps out of the boat and sinks into faithlessness. Don’t we all relate to the words Jesus tells his disciples, “You of little faith!”
I have a few scriptures that I remember that reach deep when my faith runs dry, yet Jeremiah 29:11 most resonates: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Dwelling in the word of truth blooms our faith, bursting free the power of the mustard seed spreading wild over arid landscapes, smothering thorn bushes of worry, unbelief, and hopelessness. In faith, angst can’t breath, worry can’t dwell, doubt can’t live.
In time, God’s grace or provisions arrive –sometimes, on the threshold of panic, where I hold in my hand that tiny mustard seed of faith.
Jesus says, “If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you.” Faith opens the door to Christ who speaks “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.”
Just a mustard seed of faith shepherds us to this heart of God where we rest and have our being, where God is our help in every need. Faith is the knowing the truth of Jesus words, “I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”, where we’re assured rest in the shade of the mustard tree.
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