Isn’t it crazy how there are literally years of your life you can’t vividly remember and then there are some days that you’ll never forget? This was that day for me (YES that’s little Morgan!) Also shoutout to my mom for unapologetically rocking that fresh bowl cut and retro glasses.
This was the first day I ever heard the phrase “faith like a mustard seed.” This saying comes out of Matthew 17:20-21:
“He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
When this picture was taken, it was at the land that my small Christian school was praying to build on. That day, we all got in a circle, read the scripture out of Matthew, and all buried mustard seeds in the ground. I remember making my hole, shoving that little seed in there (I wasn’t the most graceful kid), and filling the hole the best I could with the surrounding dirt and rocks. I think a reason I remembered it so well was because it was such a foreign idea to me.. and sometimes still is. But, I believe God was showing me something that day that brought me all the way to writing this post.
What I didn’t know was that this little girl in the picture wasn’t just planting a mustard seed, but instead a biblical truth was planted in me and since that day, has grown and grown.. and grown.
Here are some facts about mustard seeds:
They’re either going to produce one of two things: Mustard Plants or nothing. You’re not going to get tomatoes from a mustard plant (sorry ketchup lovers).
The mustard family includes a variety of plant species, spread all over the world: white ones, black ones, brown ones, and other variations like Florida Broadleaf, Green Wave, Southern Giant Curled, Tendergreen, Red Giant, etc.
They don’t take a lot of “effort” to grow: just a little consistent water and sunlight each day.
Unlike other plants, almost every part of the mustard plant is usable.
They have incredible “bioenergy” just like humans! Meaning, even just one mustard seed measuring 1 millimeter in radius, generates a bioenergy field of 100-millimeter radius! What this bioenergy ultimately brings is healing. Healing to itself and everything surrounding it.
I could easily take all of this info and say “LOOK! YOU are the mustard seed!” But friend, the truth in love is:
Unlike mustard seeds, we try to produce things that we were never created to produce
Unlike mustard seeds, we can’t bring about unity and diversity on our own.
Unlike mustard seeds, we overcomplicate our faith, our relationships, and our call to love daily.
Unlike mustard seeds, we close off and compartmentalize parts of our life and say, “God could never use this.”
Unlike mustard seeds, on our own, we can’t bring about the healing that we or our world truly needs.
So… what is the mustard seed?
If you read earlier in Matthew 17, you see Jesus take three of his disciples (Peter, James and John) up to a mountain and they saw the transfiguration of Jesus. CRAZY STUFF! Literally his face “shining like the sun”, his “clothes becoming white” and then boom, out of nowhere, Moses and Elijah join the party. Can you imagine?! Jesus displayed his full wonder and splendor to his besties. After that sight, what else would they need to have the faith to perform the wonders and miracles that Jesus would empower them to do?
Right after, it’s told to Jesus that his disciples (most likely Peter James and John leading the charge) weren’t able to cast out a demon in a boy. Jesus, in love, then follows up their question of “why couldn’t we do it?”, with (paraphrasing) “Have faith. It can be the size of a mustard seed. That’s enough for my power to rest on you. Then, nothing will be impossible.”
I challenge us all to see the mustard seed in us today as Jesus, not our own strength. Just like Peter, James, and John, our efforts will sometimes fall short if we are leaning on our own strength. But seeing our mustard seed as the faith of Jesus in us puts HIS power and glory on display knowing that we can do what he is asking us to do, even if our faith is the size of a 1 millimeter mustard seed.
We can go out and produce fruit 100 fold with that kind of faith.
We can celebrate diversity and can bring together black, white, brown, and any other variation of God’s children with that kind of faith.
We can grow by just standing in the light of Christ and drinking from HIS well with that kind of faith.
We can actually influence those around us with that kind of faith.
We can be who we were created to be with that kind of faith.
Just like a mustard seed, you are allowed to start small and let God be big.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9