Finding Mustard Seeds

I did not want to go to the gym today.  I felt tired, bored, uninspired, maybe a bit sick, maybe more than a little lazy.  To be honest, I’d been struggling with that feeling about just about everything this week.  Tired.  Bored.  Uninspired.  Sick.  Lazy.  And completely unmotivated, because I haven’t been seeing too much progress in anything I’ve been trying to accomplish recently, and can’t see where I’m going in any of the career/volunteer/personal growth projects I’ve undertaken at all.

It’s been a terrible feeling.  It’s been a lack of faith.

Faith that something great’s around the corner.  Faith that everything’s going to be fine, no- great.  Faith that everything I’m doing and experiencing and struggling is going to amount to something.

I have a tiny job, with a tiny salary, that is scheduled to end after a tiny stint of time.  I have a tiny “ministry”, if it can be called that, in which I try to help people in what can often seem like tiny, insignificant ways.  I have a tiny inkling of what God wants me to do with my life (something with teaching, speaking, and/or writing), but can’t see how I’m going to do it.

It’s easy to see these things as tiny, dying embers of light, soon to be replaced with cold darkness.

So, from within this funk, I tried something.  I prayed for one thing, and one thing only.

Faith.

Prayed, and then actually managed to do something very difficult for me: meditate on it for a while.  Maybe just 4-5 minutes, but a start.  Faith, Lord, please.  Give me faith.  Help my unbelief.  Unbelief in myself, my future, your plans for me, your ability to produce something wonderful out of the tiny insignificance that is me.

Faith.  Give me faith.  Just a seed, please.  A seed that can grow.  A mustard seed.  A mustard seed that can grow into a mighty mustard tree.  A tree that produces every kind of fruit imaginable.  A tree with a river flowing out of it.  The tree described in the last chapter of the book of Revelations.  The tree of life, given at the beginning of the Bible and promised at the very end.  The tree I just learned about this past Sunday because I had to teach a high school Sunday school class on it.  The tree you’ve promised will be ours if we have faith the size of a mustard seed.  The faith you’ve promised we already have inside of us, waiting to grow.  The seeds I already have in my possession.  Seeds that are small and seem insignificant until you recognize them for what they are, and then plant them.  And wait.  Seeds I already have.  Already.  I have them.  I have faith.  I have it.

Wait, what? Did my mind just do that? Was that me speaking? God, did you make me do that?

So, this is why people meditate, huh? Why we’re supposed to stick around after we ask for something and listen for “God” to “talk” to us? This is what it sounds like?

Works for me.

I felt the tiny seed inside me, and felt it break open, even if just a crack.  I could literally breathe more easily.

Recognize it, Jennifer.  Appreciate it.  Then use it.  Use what you already have- so plant it.  Then stick around, water it, and make it grow.

God is telling me to stop carrying seeds around in my pocket while searching for someone else’s mustard tree.

We should all start with the seeds in our own pockets.  They’re there, and they hold the promise of our future and our purpose.  They’re there, they’re healthy, and they will grow.  Just stop, look, use, and wait.  Wait with faith.

What seeds do we have right now that simply need planting and watering?  A job we can’t see the future in, but is still ours?  A marriage that seems to be going nowhere, but is ours nonetheless?  Imperfect children that need our sunshine and water?  A few loyal sheep who need us to be their good shepherd instead of abandoning them in search for a larger flock?

Stop searching, and look in your pocket.  What seeds do you already have?

This week, Lord, let us concentrate on the blessings you have already given us, and how we are to stop, recognize, appreciate, plant, and nurture them.  Help us be good stewards to the bounty you have put under our care.

This week, let’s concentrate on collecting an inventory of what we already have, so we can start to recognize, appreciate, plant, and nourish it:

  1. Find a notebook to start a journal.  Don’t go out and purchase one- find one.  We have already have it, though it may come in a different form than we’d pick for ourselves at a store.  Start using it to record our daily thoughts and observations as we contemplate this week’s lesson.
  1. Read the following verses in the Bible, and spend some time meditating on how to recognize their meaning, appreciate its message, and use it in our daily lives.  Maybe just look up one passage each day:
    1. Genesis 1:26-31
    2. Genesis 2:8-17
    3. Matthew 18: 20
    4. Luke 17:6
    5. Revelation 22:1-5
  1. Share what “seeds” you’ve found that you believe may be common to many of us.  Help us find and appreciate the seemingly small and insignificant things that hold the power to Abundant Life, no matter what form they take.  Post them here, share them with anyone who needs it.  They’re there too.

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2 responses to “Finding Mustard Seeds

  1. I heard a sermon a few days back, wherein the pastor described the work of Christ as finished. He said the priests of the temple were not allowed to sit down because the work in the temple was never finished. Then in comes Jesus, who walks the earth, sacrifices himself, is resurrected, and SITS on God’s right hand. He sits down because the work is completed. That is our victory. We have to accept the completion and have the FAITH to step out and take action where ever God leads us. Your post is a visual rendering of this completion, that we look at what God has already given us to succeed in his work, the seed. Thank you; and I pray your seed grows into the greatest tree, that provides you with shelter, protection, and GREAT FAITH!
    Rondi

  2. When my faith wavers, I have found comfort in Philippians 4:4 – 9 as I am called to rejoice and be joyful. Then in Phillippians 4:10- 13 I am reminded to be content in all circumstances “through him who strengthens me.” These verses have been a great help over many years in all types of circumstances that are part of day-to-day living, both in abundance and scarcity.

    Philippians 4 New International Version (NIV)
    4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
    8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

    10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

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