Plant Seeds of Faith with a Patient Heart
Have hope! Jesus told us, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 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.” Matthew 13:31-32
Most plants don’t grow overnight. “When it grows,” Jesus says of the mustard seed. We aren’t always in charge of when growth happens, and that makes many uncomfortable.
Even a garden with all the right nutrients (spiritual disciplines), attendants (other believers), and water (living water/Spirit of God) also needs time. When we go through an extended period of spiritual dryness, we don’t often become revitalized in a day. Perseverance plays a key role in our walk of faith because there will be days, months, and sometimes years that feel stagnant and dark. “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:36).
It is in the unseen, underground where we become rooted; but there is little light to help us see the growth and be encouraged. Janet O. Hagberg and Robert A. Guelich propose in The Critical Journey that these dark times can feel like running into a wall in our faith journey, but that it is a common and important experience. They say, “The Wall, a dark and sacred place, reeks of God. In the Wall, we are vulnerable enough to listen to what God says - whether it is in the guise of other people’s voices, God’s voice, or serendipitous experiences. Once we believe that God is in the midst of the darkness with us, it can be a transforming place.”
Holding on to faith even in the dark is a way we give all we have. It is here where we say, “I’m all in” or begin to back away from hope for a faith that can offer shelter to others and ourselves. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44). Is the treasure worth it? It was, is, and always will be! We can give all we have to find more of God and his kingdom and know that there will be a day when we will never be thirsty again.
Photo Credit: © Sparrowstock