“Again He said, ‘What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it. It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade'” (Mark 4:30-32).
When I was young, my Mum took a group of my friends who wanted to sing and we practiced regularly so we could do concerts in churches and other places. Mostly she taught us to sing as a group and to consider each other as we used the gifts we’d been given.
She and our lovely pianist gave those who weren’t confident the encouragement and confidence to serve in this way, while having fun together.
In a big church where there was a lot of other musical talent we were just a small group of young girls. They named our group “The Mustard Seeds” and we got to know the above story Jesus told about the kingdom of Heaven, using a tiny mustard seed.
Small is not insignificant–God used the small to illustrate what was important.
I read those verses today and remembered those years, and even some of the ridicule we received from other people for our little group and the outfits we wore. Was what we were doing even important? Did it mean anything to those who were involved or to those who heard us sing?
Small things can grow into big things–like the tiny mustard seed that grows into a large tree. Our lives may seem smaller with chronic illness and it can feel like whqt we are able to do is now insignificant.
God still uses what may look to be small things to others to make a difference. Maybe that’s a difference to us as we feel we are still valuable. Or maybe it’s something that changes or impacts someone else we may never even know about.
Let God take your mustard seed-sized energy or abilities– because He can grow it. If we are willing God can grow it into something that “provides shade” for others.
Prayer: Father, You taught us by this story, that small is not necessarily insignificant or useless. When we feel our illness or pain limits what we can do for You, remind us again how You can take what we give, no matter how limited it might be, and make it into something that has eternal significance. Little is much when You are in it. Amen.
About the Author:
Fiona Burrows lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is thankful that God walks each step of her life with her, and that He is teaching her new things as she learns to live with chronic back pain. She enjoys finding time for reading, writing, and photography, and to share those things with others. You can contact her in the Sunroom, or read more of her writing on her blog there.
When has God taken something small that you were able to do and let you see the difference it made to someone else?
This 90-second video is a good reminder of what small things God has used throughout history to do His works. Take a quick watch and think about what resources God has given to you. Surely you have at least a few stones. And look what God did with those. -Lisa