Growing a Tree of Faith – The Seed
As I was praying about and developing the beginnings of Hope Through Hard Times, I thought about the word hope. What were some symbols that best represented that word? As I did some research, a plant coming out of hard ground resonated most with me. I expressed this idea to my sister-in-law who in turn created our beautiful logo. It wasn’t until a little bit later that the Lord showed me the significance of that logo and the idea behind it.
As I was looking at the logo one day in my office, the Lord brought back to memory my time in Haiti. Though I was plucking weeds out of hard gravel covered ground, the Lord was planting a seed of hope within me. It was in a very dark time of my life. My parents were recently divorced and dating other people. I had left Bible college from a situation that occurred there, completely broken and confused. I had no idea where my life was headed. I shouldn’t have even gone to Haiti, but the missionary that was leading the trip showed me grace and brought me anyway. Just like a plant seed is started in dark soil, I was in this place of dark brokenness when the Lord planted a seed of hope within me.
This makes me think of the passage in Luke 8 that talks about the Sower and the seed.
“A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some seed fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the sky devoured it. Other seed fell on the rock; when it grew up, it withered away, since it lacked moisture. Other seed fell among thorns; the thorns grew up with it and choked it. Still other seed fell on good ground; when it grew up, it produced fruit: a hundred times what was sown.” As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen.
This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. The seed along the path are those who have heard and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. And the seed on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy. Having no root, these believe for a while and fall away in a time of testing. As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who, when they have heard, go on their way and are choked with worries, riches, and pleasures of life, and produce no mature fruit. But the seed in the good ground—these are the ones who, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, produce fruit.” – Luke 8:5-8, 11-15
The part that I want to focus on today is in verse 15. Jesus said, “But the seed in the good ground – these are the ones who, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, bear fruit.”
I was learning the importance of being dependent on Jesus. I was seeing the significance and life that the word of God offered. This seed of hope was beginning to crack open and spread its roots throughout the dark ground. What I thought didn’t make sense in my time of trying to develop the retreat and then sitting in surrender over it all, was where the Lord was actually developing the roots for it (for more on this, see last week’s post – Growing a Tree of Faith).
Throughout that process, I was learning to build my relationship with the Lord. The struggles of life were hitting Michael and I on every side. Pushing roots out of a seed takes a lot of hard work. They are having to force the soil to separate enough so that they can grow. They need water to nourish them in order to continue developing. They have to be out of the sun or they will burn. You can’t see the sprout of a tree until after the initial roots have grown and spread in the ground underneath. As they get nourished and spread along the dirt underneath, it’s only when they have a solid foundation that the sprout of the tree begins to break the surface of the ground. The roots need to be grounded and established enough so that the wind, animals, and natural elements can’t pluck it easily.
This was all taking place in my life. The roots of my faith, hope, and trust in the Lord were being developed in my personal life as the vision of the work He was calling me to laid dormant. He knew that I would be able to pick it all back up later, but for now, I needed to ground myself on Jesus alone. I needed to understand that He was my source of nourishment: my Living Water and Solid Ground.