One of my favorite pastimes is bird watching. As I carefully observe the variety of teeny aviators who grace my feeding stations, I find myself in awe of the inventive Creator and Designer I serve. From those huge blackbirds who seem large enough to devour a small toddler, to the most petite of wrens and finches, the intricacy of detail is amazing. And those colors…the bright red cardinal, the striking blues of the jay, the radiant indigo bunting, the stunning orange of the oriole, and the subtle yellow of the goldfinch…a rainbow of hues and colors…all unique, all dazzling, all breathtaking! It is little wonder that when creation was completed, the Master of the universe simply stated that “it was very good.”
In an attempt to satisfy the appetites of the vast variety of birds at my feeders, I have gathered a bit of a birdie buffet for them. The larger birds enjoy shelled peanuts, sunflower seeds, and dried fruits, while the delicate wrens and finches enjoy what is referred to as nyjer seed. Nyjer seed, which is named for the plant’s geographic origin, Nigeria, is the seed of the African yellow daisy, and finches and wrens LOVE it! But unlike the seed that provides a feast for my larger birds, this nyjer seed is small, REALLY SMALL. And when that seed is inadvertently spilled in the house, yikes, what project I have gathering up those teeny black seeds!
Teeny seeds. Convicting seeds. Seeds that bring to my mind a moment when my Savior, while teaching His disciples, spoke vividly about the incalculable power of God that can be unleashed in our lives when we have true faith, faith “as a grain of mustard seed.” A mustard seed is an uncommonly small seed, even smaller than my nyjer seed. Yet this small seed, one of the tiniest found in the Middle East, can produce a strong and mighty tree. Jesus reminds His followers that with this mustard-seed faith they could uproot trees, remove mountains, accomplish anything, for “nothing shall be impossible unto you.” We understand that our Lord didn’t want His followers flinging mountains into the ocean or tossing trees through the air like spears, but this masterful Teacher uses rhetorical hyperbole, an object lesson of sorts, to make an important point. The tiniest bit of faith, true faith that is gifted from God, can grow to immense proportions in the lives of believers, spreading out to influence all with whom we come in contact.
The church of Christ grew from humble beginnings, just a few disciples preaching and teaching the Gospel, to huge proportions, encompassing the entire world, surviving the storms of persecution throughout the centuries. And this feat could only be accomplished through faith, faith as a mustard seed. We read that our heroes of the faith have “subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions…Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword…” all through faith. That mustard-seed faith gave others the courage to suffer “cruel mockings, and scourgings,” with some suffering the ultimate pain of martyrdom through the strength of that dynamic faith. This powerful “gift of God” is vital to my Christian growth, for without that faith, “it is impossible to please him.”
As I held that teeny nyjer seed in my hand this morning, I thought of that mustard seed, and how dreadfully short my faith often falls. How often during this difficult year have I allowed fear to quell my faith; how often has doubt won the victory over trust; how often has my peace been displaced by worry? God grant me that faith of a mustard seed; help me to accomplish the impossible through simple faith and trust in my awesome and powerful Father. Allow those minuscule seeds to remind me of the superhuman feats that can be achieved through quiet faith in You.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-3562-656bd2eb11305' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=3562&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-3562-656bd2eb11305' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-3562-656bd2eb11305' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>