[Jesus] put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs…’ (Mt. 13:31-32)
I was out of town teaching. When I called back to the church, I heard that another phone campaign had started to end my tenure. When I got rid of the Mimosas (see last reflection), some people were eager to get rid of me.
That night I was supposed to give a lecture on the Kingdom of God. I looked at my material and it didn’t have any life.
I decided to take a run to clear my head. I had just started, when a fellow caught up with me and asked if we could run together.
After a few minutes, he said, “I came up here in despair.” More out of habit than desire, I asked what was going on.
For the next six or so miles, he poured out his heart. His wife had just left him. His parents were disabled. The family business was crashing. His kids were taking drugs. His brother was dying. His sister was getting divorced.
At the end of the run, he said, “You’ve been an answer to my prayer. I came up here thinking that unless God gave me sign, I might give up. You’ve been God’s sign to me.”
I had two thoughts. First, given my own troubles, I couldn’t imagine being a sign of God’s presence to anybody else. Second, he was actually God’s sign to me.
Instead of sharing my prepared notes that night about the Kingdom of God, I talked about how the Kingdom had come to me during that run.
The Kingdom of God, I said, often comes as a mustard seed. Sometimes on a run. Sometimes in a chance encounter. Sometimes in the smallest of events. Sometimes in the most lost, forlorn, and broken situations.
That’s today’s encouragement. Look for the Kingdom of God in the small seeds. There’s never a time when God isn’t there. Never a time when God can’t find a way to speak, find, or touch us. Never an opportunity when God can’t give us a sign to reveal His presence, and a seed that can grow into a mighty tree.
- Can you think of a mustard seed-Kingdom moment, a time when the smallest moment, the chance encounter, did reveal God’s presence and grace to you?
- God sprinkles the seeds of His Kingdom all around us all the time. Are there things you do that can keep you from seeing them? If so, are you willing to stop?
- Moving forward in your faith, what do you think would help you to see and identify the seeds God sows in your life?