A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine came up to me at church and pressed something into my hand, saying ‘that’s all it takes, Jill’. When I looked to see what my friend had put into my hand, in was a mustard seed. She knew nothing about a little tiny ‘seed’ that was planted in my heart around twenty years ago, when someone had a prophetic word for me regarding a particular creative ministry; I hadn’t shared it with anyone. I had just taken it, like a little seed, and planted it. Or rather, buried it. I didn’t water it or feed it; It was just a little secret hope that I kept to myself, and waited for God to make it happen. Except it seemed He wasn’t planning on doing it anytime soon. (Why do we always forget that his timing is perfect? )
I got involved in lots of other things, all of which I really love doing and believe God led me into them. But not ‘that other thing’. Eventually, that tiny seed of hope was buried so deep under all the other stuff that I almost forgot about it. But The Lord had not forgotten.
Twenty years after that prophetic word, I started to hear God speak to me regarding that tiny seed. I started to feel faith stirring in my heart regarding the promise. And then, just at that time, my friend came to me with the mustard seed.
At first, I was going to put the mustard seed into a little container and keep it in my purse, so that every time I opened my purse I would see it – a daily reminder. But The Lord said to me ‘plant it’. So I took it home that very day and planted it in a tiny pot.
Now, the thing is, one of those other activities I was telling you about that I’m involved in is making jewellery. One of my best sellers is a pendant made up of a tiny glass bottle with a single mustard seed inside. So, after I had planted the one mustard seed, I had a brain-wave – or so I thought. Why not plant a whole tray of them, and then when they sprout, make pendants from pressed mustard shoots! So I planted a tray of around 40 mustard seeds, alongside my single, ‘special’ one, that was in its own separate pot.
Ironically, not a single one of those 40 seeds has sprouted. There’s no sign if life at all. While the one my friend gave me, the one The Lord told me to plant? Well, it’s flourishing. It’s now about an inch tall, bright green and healthy. It sits on my kitchen window ledge, a daily reminder of God’s promise and his faithfulness. And the doors have already begun to open for that creative ministry. (I will share when the time is right what that is.)
I remember a catch phrase that used to buzz around churches in the 90s – ‘is it a good idea or a God idea?’ I can be busy, involved in even the Godliest and most well meaning of activities. But I don’t want to be busy with stuff just because I think it’s a good idea. I want to plant only what God has told me to plant and do only what he has told me to do.
Jesus modelled this for us. He didn’t say or do anything unless The Father told him to.
“So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished.”
John 5:19-20 NLT