Mustard Seeds and Faith
Mustard Seed Chronicles: Story Time with LU Grandma
In Matthew 10, we read about the power that Jesus gave his disciples to cast out demons, raise the dead, and heal the sick. They did it many times until we see them in Matthew 17. They failed to cast the demon out of a young boy. After Jesus did what they could not do, they came to him privately to ask why. His reply to them is found in verse 20: “because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (NIV).
This is such a precious verse because of its encouragement. So much so that I have taped a mustard seed on each of my business cards to give to students and parents when we meet for the first time. As we talk together about how the “faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains” I have seen God’s truth turn despair into hope and discouragement to courage. All with a tiny seed and this verse.
I often tease the students and parents a bit and tell them that I really do not think that the Lord is telling them to move Liberty’s Snowflex or Liberty Mountain to their hometown. I do not believe that the verse is meant to rearrange the landscape. What it is telling us is that there will be “mountains” in our lives that seem to be unmovable (sickness, disabilities, financial problems, relational problems, academic issues, etc.), and if we have faith the size of the tiny seed, nothing will be impossible for us. I believe that Jesus is telling us that without him, we can do nothing and that with Him (because He is working in our lives) nothing He has given us to do will be impossible for us. And that’s the key! Nothing He has given us to do will be impossible because He is working in us.
A few years ago, I asked the Lord why He chose the mustard seed as the example in this verse. Out of all of the seeds the He created in the world, why would He use this one? It is especially significant to know that the Middle Eastern mustard seed is the smallest seed, and it grows into a huge tree! In my spirit, He encouraged me to plant some American mustard seeds (because I could not get any Middle Eastern ones) to see why.
I did, and I saw a wondrous thing!
While most seeds take at least 7 to 10 days to germinate and send out a root, the mustard seeds that I planted on Sunday afternoon were sprouts above the ground on Tuesday! The seeds I planted in the large pot at home grew to be about a foot tall, were robust, and even flowered. Because I placed the pot out in the yard, the young trees took a bit of a beating through hard downpours of rain and big windstorms that summer. They took a beating, but they still thrived!
The Lord taught me that if the seed of faith is planted in the fertile soil of a heart, watered with His Word, and kept in the Son-shine, then it will grow very quickly.
Late that summer, we were to have a major storm, so my husband brought the pot up close to the house and placed it just outside the front wall of our screened porch under the eaves for protection. I was so relieved that it survived the storm, but three days later, I noticed all but two tiny leaves had been eaten by very tiny worms! I may be wrong, but I believe God showed me that trials (storms) are good for us. They test our roots and branches; they keep our faith strong and healthy even though we get a bit beaten up in the storms while they are being endured.
What He also showed me is that if we try to keep ourselves in a “safe” place from the big stuff, we have got to be prepared for the little stuff (the worms of doubt, disappointment, fear, disbelief, discouragement, bitterness, etc., that all come from our Enemy). The Enemy can eat away at our faith and eventually kill it altogether, especially if we are not in the Word daily receiving the “Fertilizer” of His promises, and the Living Water that is there for us.
That’s why James said, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2-4, NLT).
I personally know it can be hard to rejoice in great trials, since I have been through a great many in my lifetime, but the Lord has gotten me through each one and made me stronger with each one, too. That is my prayer for you all, too!
Heavenly Father, thank You so much for the hope that we have in the faith that You’ve given us. You’ve told us that without faith it is impossible to please you. But in the story pictured here, our faith does not have to be as big as a mountain. It just must be as tiny as a little mustard seed to move mountains, and nothing will be impossible for us. Thank You for that encouragement in a world that seems so upside down right now that might cause us to lose hope.
Lord, help us to increase our faith by being in Your word, claiming the promises that You’ve already given us, keeping them in our heart and in our minds to help us live this life down here no matter what happens for Your glory. We will Praise You for everything You are, not just for what You do.
In the precious name of Jesus, I pray.
Meet the Author
Lead Parent Advocate