What Can We Learn from a Tiny Seed?


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 17:20


Did you know that from one of the smallest seeds grows one of the largest trees?

The seed of the sequoia is only ¼ the size of a grain of uncooked rice. And yet it grows into the biggest tree, having roots that can cover over between two and four acres and bark that can be two feet thick.

I find that amazing!

And can you imagine our earth without seeds? There would be very little plant growth.

In Genesis 1:11-13,

God spoke: “Earth, green up! Grow all varieties of seed-bearing plants,

    Every sort of fruit-bearing tree.
And there it was.

    Earth produced green seed-bearing plants,
all varieties,

    And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts.
 God saw that it was good.

    It was evening, it was morning—
Day Three. (MSG)

Jesus told this parable: From Matthew 13:31-32

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.  Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Have you looked at a seed lately?

As I planted my garden this spring, I marveled that the tiny beet seed would produce luscious red beets; and tomato seeds would grow into tall tomato plants.

But the parable of the tiny mustard seed – that makes more sense when I understand the miracle of a tiny seed growing into a large plant. And that our faith can be like that – small, unassuming, but powerful because we enlist the aid of God.

Mark Batterson in his book study called Draw the Circle – The 40 Day Prayer Challenge, reminds us of the miracle of that tiny seed and also how we need to go slow and wait expectantly for our prayers to be answered.

He says:

Each prayer is like a seed that gets planted in the ground. It disappears for a season, but it eventually bears fruit that blesses future generations. In fact, our prayers bear fruit forever. [i]

In this world, we want quick fixes and instant solutions.

Mark says:

We want God to microwave solutions, MapQuest directions and Twitter instructions. [ii]

We forget; yes, we forget that we serve a powerful awesome God.

In Psalm 50 we hear that God owns the cattle of a thousand hills.

for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. (Psalm 50:10)

We need to remember that we can’t let fear dictate our decisions.

Mark Batterson also says:

When Jesus walked out of the tomb, the word impossible was removed from our vocabulary. [iii]

Our God, who can make a humungous tree grow from a tiny seed, can surely answer our prayers.

Is your God big enough to answer your prayers?

Remember you need to ask.

Dream big and ask our awesome God.

May I pray for you and me?

Lord Jesus, You came to earth to show us the way. You came to teach us about God. You talked about Who God is and you showed miracles to show us how big our God is. Please help us to have that mustard seed of faith to put our trust in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Think about your prayer time.

Are you spending time in prayer and reading God’s Word?


[i] Mark Batterson, Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge (Michigan: Zondervan, 2016, 75)

[ii] Batterson, 75-76

[iii] Batterson, 82


A chapter from Growing through God’s Word, written and published by Janis Cox.

This is one of a series of devotions posted by Haliburton United Church and Haliburton Pastoral Charge. Our thanks to Janis for this devotion.

If you would like to submit a devotion for consideration, please email us.


Image by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay

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