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Storyteller. Grace Dweller.

I’m Jennifer — wife of an Iowa farmer, mom to two girls, new book author. I believe in you, because I believe in Jesus. You matter to Him, and you matter to me. more »

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31

Tuesday 21st March 2017

this is the amount of faith you need to handle your problems

mustard seed

Many years ago, a friend gave me a heart-shaped necklace with a mustard seed tucked inside. The mustard-seed was so small, you had to look really close to see it.

At the time, that’s how my faith felt. If you’ve been around here a while, you know that I went through a very long period of doubt that stretched from my early teen years into adulthood.

It wasn’t just that I doubted God’s goodness. It wasn’t just that I doubted God’s love.

I doubted His actual existence.

You needed a microscope to find my faith.

"If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move ... and it will move" (Matthew 17:20).

My journey to faith is long and circuitous, as most faith stories are. My walk has taken me on a crooked path, until I found the narrow way. On this faith walk, I’ve always felt like the girl who had toilet paper stuck to her shoe.

So for me, the mustard seed has always felt sacred. The fact that God could do something special with so little? Astounding!

After Jesus met me on that crooked path, I thought my mustard seed would eventually grow into the size of a sunflower seed, and then the size of a tulip bulb. I believed this, because I’d met men and women with gigantic faith. My little mustard seed and I have stood in the shadow of some towering trees of faith, grown from their own humble seeds. Wouldn’t that happen to me, too?

What I’m learning is that, quite often, I’m still carrying around a tiny mustard seed in my heart. Yet, I’m learning to be ok with it.

I’m learning that it’s not the size of my faith that matters, it’s the size of my God. 

These days, I no longer doubt God’s existence. But my doubt shows up in other ways.

I doubt that God will come through when I need Him to.

I doubt that He hears me.

I doubt that His timing is good.

I doubt that He’ll be faithful.

Just this week, my daughter had oral surgery, and my little mustard seed felt so small in the shadow of her fear — when they put the IV in, when they carted her away, and when she fell asleep, while I prayed in the waiting room. Is my mustard seed big enough? I wondered while I prayed. Again, I remembered: It’s not the size of my faith that matters, it’s the size of my God. 

Again, last week, my little mustard seed felt small in the shadow of my towering insecurity. I had been asked to carry out a ministry task that seemed too big. I wanted to pray this: “Dear God – Have them call Beth Moore or Christine Caine or Lysa TerKeurst! Help me out of this! I’m not enough!” But when my mustard seed and I stood before the Lord, I heard it again: It’s not the size of my faith that matters, it’s the size of my God.

I could tell you a dozen stories from the past few weeks where my mustard seed has felt too small.

I’m guessing you have your own small-seed stories too. I’m guessing you have had those moments where you practically need a microscope to find that mustard seed in your own heart.

This one’s for you — who thinks you’re too small and too weak.

When you get to thinking that way, think again. Look to the mustard seed.

The seed is dwarfed by a pencil eraser. It’s the kind of seed that would get stuck in your teeth. Think: Dots-on-the-dice small.

But if you stick this seed in the ground, cover it with dirt, and add water, it will push against the earth with Herculian strength.

The odds are stacked against that tiny seed, but it doesn’t matter. The seed defies all odds to muscle forth in bloom.

That’s the power of the mustard seed. Scratch that… That’s the power of God in the seed. 

And that’s the power of God in you. 

Your faith might feel small today. But God says it’s worth something. He says it can move mountains.

Why?

Because it’s not about the size of our faith. It’s about the size of our God.

"If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move ... and it will move" (Matthew 17:20).

God says, “Hey, kid. Give me that seed, would you? I can do something with it! I promise!”

Stand back and watch what He does.

And listen … Listen up. Do you hear it?

That’s the sound of a moving mountain.

“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move … and it will move” (Matthew 17:20).

"If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move ... and it will move" (Matthew 17:20).

YOUR TURN: Where do you need to know that a mustard seed is enough today?

#TellHisStory

Hey Tell His Story crew! It is a joy to gather here every week with you. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT). If you would use the badge on your blog, found here, that would be great! And if you would visit at least one other blogger in the link-up and encourage them with a comment, that would be beautiful! Be sure to check the sidebar later. I’ll be featuring one of you over there!

Our featured writer this week is Liz Giertz. Have you felt like God asked you to lay down your dream? I love the words Liz shares about this topic (and the story in Scripture that she points us to). Find Liz here.

To be considered as our featured writer, be sure to use our badge or a link to my blog from your post. xo Jennifer


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  • Bess Blanco

    This is SO GOOD Jennifer! THANK YOU for this. It’s perfect for me right now!
    ~ Bess

  • Kathy Atkins

    I am so broken today and could not function. Worried about my adult son in jail for drugs. Trying to hear from God to know if there are steps I should take or just leave it. I couldn’t feel anything until I read this. I haven’t been able to cry about this since he was arrested 2 weeks ago. Your helped me to let go and give in. I know God is here and will do what needs to be done in his timing. So sad here. Prayers for our family please.

    • Kathy, I can’t even begin to imagine your pain, but will pray for you and your son, your family. May you sense God’s presence in the midst of this brokenness, and may you find grace and patience in the waiting. Thanking God along with you for Jennifer’s timely words.

    • Praying for you. This is a tough situation to be in.

  • To you, your faith seems mustard seed small but to others, and even in retelling this it’s not so tiny at all. You might be one of those people whose faith seemed huge to you many years ago. I think what you’ve realize is that you never get comfortable in this faith journey; that there’s always something to increase our faith and that our God is indeed big.

  • “It’s not the size of my faith that matters, it’s the size of my God.” Thank you, Jennifer, for this encouraging reminder! Love and hugs to you!

  • Mary

    Thank you for this beauty. It’s not the size of your faith that matters, it’s the size of your God. Amen!

  • I need that mustard seed reminder in my writing today. Thank you.

  • I had one of those necklaces as a kid and you are making me want to go find it and put it on. This was a great post, Jennifer, and I needed that encouragement. I have a task that seems too big for me, but every week, God comes through. Thank you for these encouraging words!

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  • Oh, how I love this, Jennifer! “I’m learning that it’s not the size of my faith that matters, it’s the size of my God.” Amen. It’s too easy to get caught up in ourselves instead of our God.

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  • It is absolutely about the size of our God, not our weak, deficient mustard seed of faith. Oh, how mine has felt that way, too, Jennifer! I question why I have doubts, why I don’t trust, why I don’t see the miracles God is working all around me. My seed is small, but His patience and love are limitless. May all our mustard seeds grow into enormous shade trees as we walk our Christian journeys.
    Blessings!

  • jillianaross

    “It’s not the size of my faith that matters, it’s the size of my God.” So needed to hear this today! Thanks for sharing.

  • Liz

    This is so very good! I love the thought of giving God my mustard seed and watching Him do with it as He has planned from the beginning of time! Tickled pink to be featured here this week and thrilled the words He has given me to share resonated with you! Blessings!

  • Isn’t it wonderful that a small mustard seed can grow so large. God can grow the tiniest seed into enough for every one of our unique situations.

  • Jennifer,
    Thanks! So comforting to know it depends first on God and not on me. Lately, I ask God to help me to see how big He really is…blessings to you <3

  • Susan

    Jennifer, often times when I send out a card of encouragement, I tape a mustard seed in it to remind us – it’s not how much faith we have but how big HE IS!!! I have a jar of Israeli mustard seeds right here on my desk! They would plant an acre or two. Love you and your linkup and your ♥ And, I think you sounded fun on Annie’s podcast.

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  • Thank you, Jennifer, for this encouragement. For years I struggled with whether or not I was really saved, and that thought that it wasn’t how big my faith was, but rather the One I had faith in, was one that helped me then. But it is a help now in everyday life, in problems and issues large and small as well.

  • I need faith that my daughter’s boyfriend will receive his measure of faith and join the “family.” Praying daily so that’s a good thing.

  • Sherry Thecharmofhome

    That is a great visual, that little mustard seed! He hears every word out of your mouth and knows every reason you do what you do. You can not hide anything from God. He showed me that. Thanks for hosting!

  • Julie Loos

    Jennifer- this was so good! My mustard seed faith needs to grow in regards to feeling God is big enough, loves me enough and will carry me through anything.
    My doubts can really be large compared to my faith. I know God is working on me though because He’s been sending a lot of “trust Him trials.” I think I’m close to failing this one too so He sends them over and over again. I hope my faith can grow and pass:)
    Blessings friend!

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  • Jennifer – I remember back serving on a ministry team and everything was going wrong. The pastor got up and wrote on the board – our GOD IS BIG! When I find myself doubting “my abilities” I pull out a piece of paper and write “MY GOD IS BIG” and remind myself God brought me to it he will equip me and I will do it in his power not mine. Thank you for your post. It was nice to spend a little time thinking about how BIG our God is.

    • Nancy Ruegg

      Thank you, Maree Dee, for the reminder that “If God brought me to it he will equip me and I will do it in his power not mine.” I need those words as I seek to accomplish a lofty goal!

  • Nancy Ruegg

    Here are my doubts: I doubt whether I’m doing the right thing or striving to accomplish the right goal. And though I pray God will stop me (if I’m off-track) and steer me in the direction he has chosen, I doubt whether I’m hearing him correctly. I need to remind myself: God is bigger than my mustard-seed faith; he’s even bigger than my doubts. He WILL guide as I step out in faith. Thank you, Jennifer!

  • P.S. Pray your daughter’s oral surgery went smoothly.