Welcome to the Sunday Devotion. I often view life as a journey and this journey is never along a straight path. It winds and curves. It moves upwards and downwards. It can be smooth at times but is often full of bumps and rocks. One of my favorite (fun) quotes is “Life is like a road trip. We may appreciate the smooth stretches, but the bumps in the road are what truly make the journey memorable.” (author unknown)
We often think of bumps in the road representing something hard and unpleasant. But sometimes those bumps are because the road is just unpaved. “Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.” (author – Lin Yutang) It is the presence of this hope that speaks to me. Hope helps us traverse the road, whether straight or winding, uphill or downhill. And having faith helps us hope.
In Luke 17:5-6, the disciples ask Jesus to “Increase our faith.” Jesus replies saying, “‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it will obey you.” Have you ever seen a mustard seed? It is so very, very tiny – about the size of the head of a straight pin. But Jesus tells us that faith the size of a mustard seed can bring about unimaginable things.
There is the story of Carol Kane and The Mustard Seed of Central Florida. In 1984, Carol started a small operation out of her garage. She believed that through her efforts, she could help someone who was homeless transition to becoming a productive and whole member of the community. Over the next 4 years, Carol’s inventory grew and she expanded to include the elderly and the single-parent families. Her efforts grew so much that in 1988 The Mustard Seed of Longwood, Inc. became a nonprofit corporation.
From a single woman‘s dream of wishing to help one family per month, the Mustard Seed grew into an organization that helps over 1,000 families a year with furniture and 700 families with clothing. Over the course of a year, an estimated $1.5 million of furniture, clothing, and other household goods are distributed free of charge. Through faith and hope, Carol traveled a road not yet paved. She no doubt found it windy and full of bumps. But she held onto her hope and she and others walked along this rough path, creating a road that brought blessings to her community.
May we always remember the words of Jesus, telling us that even with the smallest hope we can accomplish great things. Don’t look at hope the size of a mustard seed and just see something so tiny that a wisp of wind can cause it to float away. See the potential and with faith move forward knowing this mustard seed of hope is strong and full of promise.
During this time following the destruction caused by Hurricane Ian, may we be the mustard seed of hope for others by providing compassionate help. The Red Cross and UNICEF have programs in place to provide assistance and could use our donations.
Author: Bonnie Barber
Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.