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Little Faith; Big Plans

Monday, April 08, 2024 @ 01:29 PM Little Faith; Big Plans Hannah Meador The Stand Writer MORE

Have you ever gardened?

If you have, you’ll know that gardening is one of the most enjoyable and long-suffering hobbies a person can have. As we start creeping into the late spring and early summer months, many gardeners will start the season off by beginning seedlings indoors before transplanting the established plants into their garden areas after the frost flees the region.

But if you have ever taken up this activity or been around someone who does, it is worth noting that it takes a lot of water, work, faith, and patience. I learned this lesson the hard way last winter when I put some cool-weathered seeds in our garden. As a newbie, I didn’t know that I needed to cover my seedlings on the nights that were a little too cool for comfort. So, as you can imagine, it didn’t take long for me to notice that none of my seeds sprouted!

But during this process, I have come to understand why Scripture uses gardening and farming as important biblical lessons. However, I’m convinced that the most important reason it’s used is to help us learn about faith.

One of the most well-known examples of faith and gardening can be found in Matthew 17. Here, we witness the story of a father who came to Jesus on behalf of his demon-possessed son. In desperation, the father tells Jesus that he has already taken the boy to the disciples, but they were unable to help him. Thankfully, the man believed that Jesus could help his son. And He did.

But what He also did was set his disciples straight.

Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. (Matthew 17:18-20, emphasis added.)


These were His disciples, the ones who followed Him daily! Yet, Jesus made sure to let them know they could not heal the boy because they had little faith. The ones who saw Him raise the dead and heal the sick didn’t have enough faith in the Father to see the boy healed and freed from demons.

And if these are the men who saw His miracles and wonders, shouldn’t we, as Christians 2,000+ years later, be cut some slack when it comes to our faithlessness?

Not a chance.

The story doesn’t end with the rebuke. Instead, Jesus offers them a powerful lesson in faith.

Some assume that the mustard seed might have been the smallest seed during Jesus’s day. So, by using this analogy, He is saying that if we have just a tiny bit of faith and trust in Him, then we have the potential to move mountains and do anything imaginable.

But often, we let our “little faith” get in the way of His big plans. Instead of trusting the One in control, we run and hide in faithlessness. The book of Matthew alone repeats the famous phrase at least four other times.

    1. Do you see, disciples, how God feeds the ravens and robes the lilies? And “Will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30).
    2. Winds may blow, and waves may rise on the fickle Sea of Galilee, but I will be with you — I, the storm-stilling Son of God. So “why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26).
    3. Every wave will hold your feet if you only keep your eyes on me, Peter. But “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31)
    4. Do you remember, my twelve, how I fed thousands from a few leftover loaves? Then “O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread?” (Matthew 16:8)

There is no doubt about it, He knew that our faith would be weak and finicky. But He also showed us time and time again that if we just trust Him, then He would sustain us. This week, as you make your plans, remember Who is in control. By planting that little seed of faith in Him, “nothing would be impossible for you.”

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