‘where birds can come and find shelter’ [Mark 4:32 NIV] The mustard seed starts out as a very tiny seed. It is basically bird feed. But if it is given the chance to grow, it becomes a nesting place. It grows from insignificant to huge. That was the point that Jesus was making about the Good News He brings. It might seem small, almost inconsequential at first. A small step; a small seed of faith is all that is required to respond. This seemingly insignificant step, this seed, if watered grows huge in our lives. It grows into a place where we can find shelter. Do not worry if the steps you take at first in responding to Jesus’ message seem like nothing. You have not seen the end of the story about you and Jesus.
The seed knows nothing about growth. It knows nothing about mustard trees. It knows nothing about how big it can get. It knows nothing about birds of the air. It know nothing about what it will provide for some of God’s creatures. It just knows it is a seed. As long as it is sitting in a sack with thousands of other seeds it has no special worth. It is just one of the crowd. It does know that it needs to get alone, away from the crowds of other seeds. It has work to do for the Creator but what is it? One day it feels itself being lifted and flung into the air. Daylight at last! It lands on some soft soil. Something covers the little seed up and now he is in the dark. It feels right. He is in the right place. Then the little seed becomes thirsty. Moisture soaks down to the little seed. He pushes out a few tiny roots and he drinks it in thirstily. He is getting just a little bit bigger now but time passes so slowly. He wants change. The little seed is getting impatient. When am I going to be what the Creator made me to be? Then one day the little seed notices that he is changing. Something big is happening. His roots are getting bigger and stronger. One sunshiny day he suddenly see some light. His leaf that he had been pushing with all his might up through the soil suddenly breaks into the sunlight. “At last, I am on the way to being what God created me to be!”
Faith is a powerful gift from God. It is vital to being able to live as God intended us to live. It is impossible to please God without faith. Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. That is what Jesus told his disciples. “By using the uncommonly small mustard seed as an example, Jesus is speaking figuratively about the incalculable power of God when unleashed in the lives of those with true faith.” “… little is much when it comes from God. The mustard seed in the parable grows to be a huge tree, representing the tiny beginnings of [Christ being formed in us] when just a few disciples began to preach and teach the gospel. Eventually the kingdom grew to huge proportions, encompassing the entire world and spreading over centuries.” [S. Michael Houdmann, http://www.gotquestions.org/mustard-seed-faith.htm/