Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Birds in My Mustard Tree

Birds in My Mustard Tree by Susanne Scheppmann (An excerpt)

“He said to them, Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” Matthew 17:20 (AMP)

What are birds in a mustard tree? Let me see if I can explain.

My pomegranate bush resembles a Christmas tree decorated by the hand of God. Its branches hang heavy with crimson bulbs of fruit. It sways in the wind and I catch a whiff of the overripe fruit. Various types of sparrows and robins sit on the branches like “twelve partridges in a pear tree.” Then I hear the high-pitched music of finches and hummingbirds beyond the lush fruit and deep within the branches. The birds on the exterior dance; the hidden birds continue to sing along in a bird chorus.

To me this pomegranate bush mirrors in the physical world what happens in the spiritual world of faith that Jesus referred to in the above verse.

But what are birds in a mustard tree? It’s my phrase for recognizing God’s response to my smallest faith and most doubt-filled prayers. The birds in my mustard tree are proof to me that God works as long as I have the tiniest bit of faith in His almighty power. Author David Jeremiah wrote in My Heart’s Desire. "You may sometimes feel awkward and uncomfortable, and find yourself saying, “Is this really true? I don’t see anything in it. I don’t hear God’s voice. I don’t feel His presence. There are days like that for all of us. The pursuit of God has no shortcuts. You simply must keep walking, keep seeking, and keep yearning. Keep at it, and you won’t be disappointed."

One example of mustard seed faith is I think back to when my two sons were little boys. I began to pray for their future wives. So, I began a “shopping list” of prayers for daughters-in-law. It consisted of the following: godly, kind, sense of humor, good cooks, and fun families. Those prayers have been answered completely. I consider my “daughter-in-loves” to be two of the most evident birds to result from my faith.

What would you list as seen evidences of your faith?

If we combined our lists, we would be amazed at the variety of “birds” we would see. In the days and years ahead, we will see many more birds come to roost in our mustard tree of faith.

Abraham Herschel described it as,"Faith is not the clinging to a shrine. But an endless pilgrimage of the heart, audacious longing, burning songs, daring thoughts, impulse overwhelming the heart, usurping toward these are all a drive to love the one who rings our heart like a bell."

Even if my faith is as tiny as a mustard seed, God can bring about miraculous results. He can grow my faith so large that it can roost a multitude of His wonderful deeds. I call these the “birds in my mustard tree.”


Debbie Giese said...

Hi, I just jumped over here from the P31 devo. The Bible warns us in the last days Satan will use seduction to lure us away. Facebook is totally seducing and addicting. I have had to take a FB fast myself. I have also been thinking that it allows us to be friends on our own terms...we can commit time when we feel like it, and turn them off when it is no longer convenient.
I enjoyed your devo, and the fresh look at Psalm 119. That is a long one and something new can always stand out! See you at She Speaks!

Carolee said...

I just realized that yesterday with my computer. It wasn't until I opened Lysa's post, something I normally do first thing in the morning, then I dropped everything, I got out my Bible. Before dinner, after dinner and on and off through the evening...even got hubby interested while we watched something on TV with biblical references.
Today's post also gave me encouragement through a difficult time. Thank you!

Lysa TerKeurst said...

I love this post. What a great reminder to keep looking for those things we've prayed for and to remember to thank God for them specifically.

Love your wisdom. Can't wait to see you soon dear friend!!!