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An Unexpected Lesson

May 4, 2015

I don’t know about you, but I am completely amazed by God today. As I sat last night preparing to write my next blog post I found myself unable to finish what I had started. When I was getting ready this morning I understood why. Quite simply, God had other plans. Something that I have learned is that God tailor makes each and every learning experience, each lesson, to each person’s personality.


Take a look at this:
Abraham and Sarah – learned by taking matters into their own hands
Joseph (father of Jesus) – learned by dream
Mary (mother of Jesus) – learned by encounter
Peter – learned by denial
Jonah – learned by rebellion
Simon (Peter) and Andrew – learned by fishing
Thomas – learned by seeing


He knows exactly what each of us responds to best and what we would breeze right over without taking the opportunity to learn. He knows us each intimately and wholly so why would he choose to teach in any other way?


Over the course of my lifetime, I have learned that God uses the most unconventional and unexpected ways to get my attention or to teach me the most basic of lessons. It is something that I have come to appreciate, but also come to have a complete fearfully reverent expectation for. I have learned to be alert to the most simple things that most would find completely normal and mundane – things most would overlook.


Not too long ago, while, in a local Christian bookstore, I ran across a necklace that left me speechless. There I stood in the middle of the store – jaw on the ground and tears welling up in my eyes as I took in the moment and the lesson God was teaching me. I was not at all stunned by brilliant diamonds, the ingenious setting, or the purity of the metal, but rather I was mesmerized by this tiny speck housed in a glass and metal casing. As I read the inscription on the package I began to realize that the speck I was so drawn to wasn’t a speck at all, but rather a mustard seed.


The inscription read as follows (Matthew 17:20):
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.


Have you ever seen a mustard seed? I know I hadn’t and if I had I surely could not remember it at that moment. God was taking that very moment in time…in the middle of a busy Christian bookstore, no less, to teach me a lesson I thought I had learned as a child. The truth is, like others, I had never really grasped the scripture’s full meaning. It took God showing me in an everyday context what a mustard seed really was for me to be stunned and in awe enough to really grasp what faith “the size of a grain of mustard seed” really could accomplish.


As I stood with the necklace in hand (1) I found my faith challenged and (2) I knew God was about to blow my mind, as usual. There was something on my heart that I had been praying over, and He reminded me in that very moment that a small amount of faith will go a long way when placed in God. I suddenly found myself revisiting those scriptures that so profoundly shaped my prayer life when I was younger with new vigor. I began to stand on verses like “whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith” (Matt 21:22) and “nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37) like never before. There was life…. meaning in the words that I never noticed before. Today I sit here typing this blog with a better understanding of what faith really is and my course is set to follow His path wherever it may lead me.


Lessons I have learned through this experience:
-A little bit of full on faith placed in the hands of the Creator brings more life than previously thought possible.
-A lesson is never completely learned. God will continue to bring you back to the same thing over and over in your lifetime and show you new nuances you never thought possible.


I challenge you today to find out how God often speaks to you and begin to search out and ask Him to reveal Himself to you.


“Faith is a grand cathedral, with divinely pictured windows – standing without, you can see no glory, nor can imagine any, but standing within every ray of light reveals a harmony of unspeakable splendors.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne

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