Great things grow from small beginnings and a simple faith.
But sometimes I make faith more complicated than it is.
Sometimes I try too hard and, in my striving, I begin to think that doing the will of God is difficult and requires an extraordinary faith that only a few can obtain if they will it into existence.
Sometimes life gets tough. Really tough. And though possessing faith is my lifeline to God, I allow myself to believe the lie that I don’t have enough faith to overcome and be inspired again.
Jesus tells me differently. Jesus says to consider the mustard seed.
31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
A mustard seed is so small (1 to 2 millimeters) that if you were holding one in your hand and dropped it on the ground, you might not be able to find it, yet the tree can grow up to 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide. The mustard seed tree can thrive in clay or sandy soil and grow in hot and dry or cool and wet climates. If the tree is cut down to the trunk, it can grow back again.
At the age of 19, I entrusted God with my very first mustard seed of faith. In a small church in Macomb, Illinois I declared “Jesus is Lord” in the waters of baptism. God took that mustard seed of faith and over several decades grew it into a beautiful, mature tree. However, this is the season of my life where this tree has been cut down to the trunk, and I need to believe that this trunk will grow back to the 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide tree again.
My identity is changing. I’m single rather than married, I’m an orphan rather than a daughter to living parents, I’m the youngest child rather than the middle child, I’m a cancer patient rather than counting 10 years cancer free, I’m and Oregonian rather than a Californian, I’m a work-from-home employee rather than a corporate office employee.
But one thing has not changed. I am a child of God whose identity is in Christ. My life circumstances may change drastically, but who I have become in Christ and who God says I am will never change.
This trunk of mine is still standing because it has roots deep in the ground. This trunk may no longer have branches and leaves, but don’t let that fool you because the foundation of this trunk is made to last and made to grow. I look forward to seeing what the new growth from this trunk will look like. The branches may twist and stretch in a completely different pattern than before the trunk was cut down, but it will be just as beautiful.
I have considered the mustard seed. Will you also?
Trust in God with your mustard seed of faith.
Start small and watch it grow.