EARTH: Planting Seeds Of Faith by Francine Rivers

Reflections on How God Speaks Through Nature

Planting Seeds Of Faith by Francine Rivers

From: Earth Psalms

All glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
(Ephesians 3:20)

Our church has few parking spaces, and the fire department has graciously allowed us to use the lot next to their building. As we walk from the lot to church, we pass by a barrel filled with dirt that serves as a planter. There isn’t much in it, other than a few volunteer pansies. Seeds have apparently dropped, because those delicate kitten faces smile up at us from other places along the way, including cracks in the concrete pathway.

Pansy comes from the French word, pensée, which means, “thought.”  In the fifteenth century, this little flower was the symbol of remembrance.  With over 400 varieties, pansies are a popular annual and biennial for gardeners who once considered “heart’s ease” (another name) a weed.  These lovely multicolored flowers are one of my favorites, because they are hardy, require little care, and spread quickly.

Pansy seeds blow and grow wherever they land, often in unexpected places.  They’re able to take root even in a tiny bit of soil in a cracked sidewalk.  Against all odds, they grow.  I think of Christians who live in countries where the soft soil of religious freedom has been covered by the hard cement of oppression.  From a human perspective, faith seems impossible in the midst of persecution or trial.  Yet God plants a seed of faith, and the seed sprouts and grows.  A person’s life, planted where only God could bring growth, becomes beautiful, and that life is noticed – a marvel of beauty in the barrenness.

In Ephesians 3:20, the apostle Paul reminds us that God is capable of doing far more than we can even imagine or would ever dare to ask.  He can change the hardest of hearts.  He can make faith flourish in the worst of circumstances.  He can create beauty out of ashes.  Nothing is impossible for him.

Faith expects from God what is beyond all expectation.
(Andrew Murray)

REFLECT

When have you seen faith growing in an unlikely place?  What does this reveal about God’s power and faithfulness?

APPLY

This week, visit OperationWorld.org or use another resource to learn about a country where Christian brothers and sisters face persecution.  Spend time praying that God would cause faith to grow even in that challenging landscape.

CONNECT WITH GOD

Lord, I am grateful that you can make faith grow in even the unlikeliest of places.  Where we see barrenness, you see potential.  Where we see hopelessness, you see possibility.  I praise you for your power and for your compassion in causing our faith to grow.  Help me to remember that nothing is too difficult for you.  Please strengthen those believers throughout the world who face persecution.  May your name be magnified through their faith.

I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.
For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
(Psalm 57:9-10)

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