This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the see would sprout and grow, he knows not how.
(Mark 4:26-27)

Here I am, Lord. Let the seed of your word grow in me.

I have never seen a mustard tree, though I have heard the parable many times. I imagined it as a large shrub, like a forsythia, perhaps. Finally, I looked for a picture and was surprised to see that it really is a tree, with a length of trunk between the ground and its feathery leaves. In one photograph, it towers above a group of people gathered underneath. There is no hyperbole in the parable. It is truly amazing that a tiny seed could be the source of this growth.

The seed is hidden, under the soil, but the warmth of your sunlight reaches it and stirs it to split open and send out shoots. We cannot check its progress. Once planted, it is beyond our control, even beyond our knowledge. We don’t see the stems reaching toward the light. Later, if we look carefully, we will notice a spot of green, once the first leaf breaks through the surface. It is your work, Lord, not ours. We can only wait and trust.

When I feel trapped and purposeless, it is only because I am blind to what you are accomplishing in me. I have no purpose other than to let you nurture your growth in me. If I am underground now, someday you will expose me to your light. Your life is in me whether I feel it or not. Open me to your will.

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