It has been a very stressful few weeks. Olivia is still recovering from her illness and we learned yesterday that she may be recovering for several more months. But God is good, and we witnessed Him work in our little family yesterday. But I'll save that for another post. Today I wanted to talk to you about mustard seeds. Yes, that's right, mustard seeds. (You know where I'm going with this, don't you?)
Did you know that a mustard seed is only about 2mm in diameter? For those of you (like me) who are NOT into the metric system and are perfectly happy with inches and feet, 2mm is equal to 0.2cm. That's tiny. Not grain of sand tiny, but tiny.
"So what? Who cares?" you might be asking. Well, I just think it's quite phenomenal that once planted and nurtured, the mustard seed grows into a shrubby sort of tree that not only provides adequate shelter for birds and other creatures, but the plant is persistent and powerful enough to crack cement when growing.
Above is a picture of a "tree" that Jesus may have been referring to when He referred to the mustard tree in his parables. Impressive? No, but I don't think faith has to be big and showy to be a force mighty enough to crack cement. It doesn't have to be huge to provide us with shelter from life's many storms. I've decided to blog on the mustard seed today because lately I've needed to be reminded of the power of faith, and I just thought maybe you could use a mini faith boost, too. If not, maybe this will at least be entertaining for you. :o)
Adam Sullivan, one of my characters in The Heart's Journey Home, is searching for the meaning and purpose of faith in a scene I recently wrote when he stumbles across Matthew 17:14-20 which says, "And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 'Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.' Then Jesus answered and said, 'O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.' And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, 'Why could we not cast it out?' So Jesus said to them, 'Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, Move from here to there, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."
The idea that from something so small and seemingly insignificant can come something so powerful and mighty that NOTHING is impossible is inspiring to me, and it was also to Adam. You'll have to wait to find out how it inspired him. As for me, most of the time I feel small and insignificant, like a mustard seed, my 2mm-sized faith is often at odds with the worries of the world. But when I see the difference my faith has on my children and my students, I can see the cement start to crack. When I hear the words of my dear friends as they pour prayers over me for Olivia and my family, I can hear that concrete busting.
It's not always easy to nurture even a seed so small. Most everyone I know has struggled at some point in their lives, whether it amounts to just a bump in the road or a major detour. The good thing is, as my friend Marsha helped me to learn, God has already planted that mustard seed in us, given each one of us a "measure of faith". By studying the Scriptures, sharing in fellowship with other Christians, and spending time in prayer, that seed is being nurtured and it's growing. And, as I've recently found out, when I can't physically or mentally nurture that seed myself, the Lord is faithful to send helpers to tend to it in my weakness. Thank you, dear Jesus!
*Shrug* I don't know where I'd be without my faith. I know it grows stronger everyday. Yep. I know the cement is cracking somewhere along this road I'm on. My prayer is that somewhere along the way, these words I write, these simple stories I tell, will inspire someone's heart and nurture their mustard seed so that more cement begins to crack. One by one, little by little, mustard can change the whole world! . . . Well, kind of. :o)
PRAYER REQUESTS AND UPDATES: I was recently informed by one of my high school friends that another friend, Jaime Smith, has been diagnosed with breat cancer. Jamie and her husband, from what I understand, had their first baby in December and then Jamie had surgery in February. I'm not sure if it was this past December and February or a year ago. Regardless, Jamie and her husband are in need of prayer. Please pray for Jamie for complete healing and supernatural strength. Pray that the Lord with comfort both Jamie and her husband in such a way that they know it can only be the Lord's loving arms. I will post an update on Jaime as soon as I have one. Also, please pray for my grandma, Betty Moltz. She has been readmitted to the hospital with fluid around her lungs. This is the second time since she was hospitalized with a mild heart attack. Please pray that her lungs and heart will be healed and that my Granny will regain her strength everyday. I also want you to pray for my friends Jen and Ryan Millard, who have received some devastating news. They need comfort and peace, a peace that goes way beyond the human capability, a peace that can only come from the Lord. Lastly, I am going to kindly ask you to pray for Olivia, that her body will be completely healed over then next couple of months. Remember, if you or someone you know is in need of prayer, please email me privately (through my profile) and I will be happy to include the request on our list. There IS power in prayer!!!