Faith to believe what we cannot see can be quite a struggle, yet part of the answer is all around us. The flowers that appear in springtime, the trees laden with fruit, and every rich crop of wheat, corn, or rice all grow from comparatively small seeds. Buried in the dark earth, nurtured by the warmth of the sun, watered by rain or the farmer, the seeds are transformed and in time become mature, full-grown plants.
That all these plants, with all their beauty and usefulness, grow from tiny seeds is an illustration of faith. In Matthew 17:20, Jesus likened faith to a mustard seed: “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”3
For this exercise, take a walk outside. Look at the flowers and plants. The beauties and mysteries of the natural world are a reflection of spiritual truths. Unless you’re a botanist, you’re probably not aware of every detail of the process that transforms a tiny seed into a flourishing plant. In the same way, even if you sometimes struggle with questions of faith, your faith may very well still be alive and working.
As you walk, stop and examine some plants closely. Look at the intricate patterns. Smell the flowers. Feel the varied textures of the leaves and stems of different plants, some smoother, some rougher. Observe the shades of color and the stages of growth. Then stand back and take in the scene. Remember, all of this came from tiny seeds.
Now consider your faith. It’s all right if it doesn’t start off as a majestic tree. It just needs to begin as a tiny seed. Plant it, nurture it, feed it by reading God’s Word,4 and it will grow.
1. John 20:25
2. John 20:29
4. Romans 10:17