Matthew 17:20 – He replied, “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.”
Gratitude Day 768
In the little community where we live, the area gardening association has decorated the downtown with beautiful flower planters. Late spring, pots arrived on Main Street with small flowers in them. Over the next several weeks, the flowers grew and filled in the pots. These days, the pots are filled with beautiful and bright petunias and other flowers.
But another little thing happened. In spite of the sidewalk, petunias are also growing in the sidewalk. It’s like little seeds found their ways into the cracks. And with just enough soil to provide them the appropriate environment to germinate, those little seeds slowly grew up in-between the cracks and are now blooming just as brilliantly and handsome as the flowers in the pots.
Recently, Hubby Rick was asked to join the area gardening club. It’s a good fit for him. He likes to garden and spends more time in our garden than I do. He sets up the sprinkler when water is needed, hoes out the weeds and is inspecting the vines and plants daily right now for any produce. It is the farmer in him that continues to live even in the small garden plot that we have.
The Poynette Area Gardening Association(PAGA) needed a couple more volunteers to water all of those pots and other gardens around town. This is something Rick could do and so now, he can proudly wear his PAGA t-shirt.
At a recent PAGA meeting, the volunteer flowers who are now growing in the sidewalk cracks came up as a topic of conversation. Apparently, PAGA has received lots of comments about how much people LOVE these little volunteer plants. “Please keep them!” people have requested. And so, PAGA has.
It you look closely, it really is quite amazing that these flowers are living in such small cracks and with a minute amount of soil from which they germinated. Yet, their little flowers are just as brilliant and handsome as their cousins who were intentionally planted it the big pots. Yes, the volunteers make sure and give the volunteers plants a drink of water when the pots are watered. Nonetheless, their ability to grow, bloom and blossom in these tiny little cracks is rather amazing.
The volunteer plants are a lot like faith. Seriously. Too often, people think that faith requires all the answers, a deep knowledge of the Bible and an ability to defend their every belief. When questions of faith arise, we wonder if we really have enough faith. “How much faith is enough?” we wonder. “Do I have enough?”
The answer: YES. Yes, yes, yes. Contrary to what you many think, you only need faith the size of an itty-bitty mustard seed, Jesus says. That is enough.
A number of years ago, I went to the Holy Lands. While walking near the Garden of Gethsemane, our guide stopped us by a mustard plant. It was January. Growing season had not started. Yet, he showed us the size of the mustard seed that Jesus was talking about. Please believe me when I say that the seeds were itty-bitty. Tiny. Easy to lose on your hand. Hard to see if your eyesight is bad.
But this, my friends, is enough faith, Jesus says. Yes, Jesus would love for our faith to be big and bold and beautiful. Sometimes, our faith is so tiny we wonder if it is enough. Something awful has happened. A so-called believer has treated us so poorly. Our heart is heavy with grief and sadness and disappointment. We’ve been lead down a road where someone cheated, lied and hurt us. We question why God would allow such things to happen and declare that our faith is not enough.
While we may think our faith is not enough, for God, it IS enough. No matter how small, no matter how tiny, it IS enough. We can doubt more than we believe and for God, it IS enough.
Why and how did those flowers grow in the cracks and survive? I’m not sure. But they certainly can tell us a thing or two about faith. Our faith and grow and bloom and blossom in the most difficult of circumstances. Some people feel the rotten times of their lives are when their faith is most tested. Often, this is true. But these challenging times can also be the best time for our faith to GROW. Blossom. Bloom.
When something awful and rotten happens to us, we want it to go away fast. But sitting with this problem, allowing it to stew within us and challenge us to dig deeper into ourselves will actually allow us to GROW. Become. Bloom where we are planted and become a beautiful blossom of hope.
I am so glad those flowers in the cracks grew and blossomed. Their daily presence is a fantastic reminder that no matter how challenging life may feel right now, we can still find joy, happiness and hope. We CAN bloom within an awful situation and discover some amazing things about ourselves. Yes, we need sunshine and water and tiny bit of dirt for this to happen. But, we don’t need a lot. We need just enough.
We have all that we need to let our faith grow and expand. Honestly, it comes down to whether we want our faith to grow or not. We can bloom wherever we are, no matter what circumstances we are enduring. The petunias teach us this. Will we allow our faith to grow and develop and become something fantastic no matter what is going on in our lives today?
I pray we will.
For lessons from petunias growing in the sidewalk, I am very grateful.
Dear God – Too often, I look at my faith and doubt if it is enough. Assure me that it is. Has been and always will be. Jesus was clear: it just needs to be the size of an itty-bitty mustard seed. Thanks for being patient with me when my faith was only this size. Encourage me to allow my faith to grow even when my life is full of cracks and there isn’t much soil in sight. May I find sunshine and water to allow my faith to grow and blossom. Amen.
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