Moses, the great and fearless leader of old. Can you imagine having as much faith as Moses? He was a great leader, but at the moment of destiny he was not fearless. In fact he was so intimidated he got permission from God for his brother Aaron to do the talking while he did the miracles. Have you ever wondered how much faith it took for the children of Israel to leave Egypt? How much and whose faith it was that paved the way for that to happen? My point is not to judge Moses’ faith (I’m glad it was Moses and not I standing before Pharaoh!). Rather, I’m just taking a look from afar at how much faith is in the story. In some ways it took huge faith for everyone involved and in other ways it seems just a tiny seed of faith was enough for God to work.
Seed faith. A term that represents a little bit of faith. Faith that can look dead on the outside but remains alive within, like a seed. To me it suggests the truth that God is not limited in His action and response by how much faith I have. After all, if a mustard seed amount can move a mountain then a little bit is a good place to begin.
The produce we eat is the fully mature form of the original seed. The apple purchased at the grocery started in the form of a seed. Likewise, what we see in ourselves as nothing more than a seed of faith has the potential to break open, sprout and grow into mature faith that will sustain many. Don’t be deceived or discouraged by the ‘wee bit ‘ of faith you have in some area right now. Given the right circumstances it will blossom and grow.
The rub comes in that a seed has all the appearances of being dead. Just look at a seed for a green bean, a zucchini or a flower bulb. Brown, unimpressive and unassuming, it is hard to imagine the life force within. If one did not know what seeds are they would seem to have no value, just dried out remnants of the fruit from which they came. It seems unfortunate that the first thing that must happen is that the seed be buried, its shell broken open, yet that is the process of life.
I recently blogged about a squash that contained sprouting seeds when I cut it open. http://bespokeninternational.com/finding-hidden-hope/. This is not the way it’s supposed to happen and I didn’t know if anyone would believe me so I took photos. A few weeks later we arrived in Ireland and our friend John was hesitant to tell me what had just happened to him, as I suspect he was concerned I might not believe him. Seems he bought apples at the grocer and when he sliced them open the seeds inside were sprouting. Something is going on! This has the feel of the sower overtaking the reaper. Sometimes seeds and the faith they represent aren’t logical.
God broke down the walls of Egyptian might for Israel to walk into freedom, and upon entering their Promised Land their descendants faced another wall. This wall was physical and massive and impenetrable. The fortress of Jericho was known not only for the moral depravation of its citizenry but for walls that no man or army could breach. When up against such a wall a little bit of faith is what is needed. The same One, True God who would not allow His children to stay in Egypt’s bondage one more day was not about to allow His well-loved daughter to stay in her bondage in Jericho. When up against a formidable wall of any description it is a good idea to let Him collapse it.
Rahab was a Jerichoan whose life from all outward appearances was of little to no value, spent and wasted on sin. Known even today as the prostitute of Jericho, it is easy to assume that her outer ‘shell’ was lovely, although the Bible doesn’t tell us that. (You may read her story in Joshua 2-6. Fascinating!) If we are honest with our hearts both men and women judge her as quite the opposite of a seed, that is, comely and desirable outwardly, her soul hard and quite dead inside. Don’t judge a book by its cover or a seed by its shell!
We are not told how or why Rahab’s life story as a prostitute began, but we know how it ended. Our God of redemption focuses the narrative on the faith choices she made and how her faith set her free. In Rahab’s case all she had to go on were rumors about the God of the Hebrews, yet these stories of His greatness were all it took for the faith within her to grow, thereby collapsing the walls within her soul and eventually her city so she could walk into her freedom.
How could someone like Rahab love herself to life in the midst of the wickedness that surrounded her on every side? By rehearsing over and over again the stories of this great God of Israel. By holding onto the little bit of faith she had, choosing to believe He saw her, knew her, was expansive enough in His love to rescue not only slaves but sinners. This is the same way we hold onto ours! Consider that perhaps the Lord ‘s focus is not on how or why you messed up but how He plans to rescue you. This week, hold onto whatever level of faith you have, be it large or mustard size. Out of that may you flourish and grow into one whose story speaks the greatness of being rescued, redeemed and set free. By faith we will keep growing in our ability to Love Ourselves to Life!