What is faith like a seed? You’ve may have never asked or even considered that strange question. Perhaps if I asked – What is the promise of a seed? Or, What is the hope of a seed? The answers to those questions may give us a clue. The promise of a seed is life, growth, reproduction, and depending on the seed, harvest. There is also one more promise we rarely consider. That a seed will grow “after its kind.” A truth that is so common we rarely think about it. Plant an acorn get an oak tree. Corn grows corn. A mustard seed grows into a mustard plant. An apple seed into an apple tree. The faith in a seed is all of these things but it must be nurtured to grow.
In our last article, Kyle quoted Luke 17:6 from the New Living Translation and highlighted the size aspect of faith. Specifically faith the size of a miniscule mustard seed. I too am using Luke 17:6 as today’s scripture although from another English translation. “And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:6, NASB95) What does it mean to have faith “like” a mustard seed? In several accounts, Jesus uses the smallness of the mustard seed to make His point. (see Matthew 13:31-21, Mark 4:31) Size is one important aspect, but there also seems to be more to consider, apply, and nurture.
Faith begins as a seemingly insignificant seed. But just for a moment consider all the wonder contained in that miniscule package. Seeds look dormant, lifeless, and incapable of doing anything. Yet there is life in the seed. They can be stored for years, waiting for the right conditions to germinate, sprout, and grow. But I’ll ask it again, what is faith like a seed? Is it just growing? I think it lies in the simple observation that seeds multiply.
Now, I’m not going to get all faith-preacher wonky by making far-out promises that sometimes seem to work but often fail. Here’s the point. We all start with a simple seed of faith. Some hide it. Some throw it away. Some place unrealistic expectations on it. Some put it in a display case for all to see. A few plant it in their heart.
We nurture the plants we want to grow. There’s soil preparation, fertilizer to apply, watering, the planting of the seed itself, protection for the young sprout, weeding to be done as other plants seek to invade, pest removal, perhaps even some pruning along the way. All of this is done to encourage and receive a harvest, the multiplication of more seeds of the same kind.
Faith, likewise, multiplies as we apply and nurture it in our everyday lives. As we trust God with one point, one aspect, one hope, one desire we learn that we can trust Him for more. Today’s seed could be something simple, like finding a lost set of keys. Or the answer to a perplexing problem. The healing of a pesky headache. Peace of heart in a place of conflict. Forgiveness. Protection. Guidance. Wisdom. These and so much more are the multiplication of faith in Jesus.
Perhaps there is a mountain in your life and faith doesn’t seem to be working. Consider this question – Have I trusted God with the small stuff? So often, in our self-sufficient ways, we handle the small stuff of life and only trust God with the really big things. But nurturing faith is all about trusting God will the small stuff too. That’s how faith is nurtured and multiplies to the point we can really trust God to uproot trees and move mountains. Plant and nurture the seed of faith today.