Sacred Conversation – Pt. 7
Mark 4:8, 20
When Trinity and I lived in New Orleans during our seminary years, we served a little country church about an hour north of the Big Easy. I studied and attended classes all week, but we spent the weekends in the little Hays Creek community visiting on front porches and eating far too much of their two main food groups: fried catfish and fried chicken. When new friends would ask where we lived, we often joked that we had an apartment in the city and a house in the country. I assure you it was not as romantic as it sounds.
After the Sunday evening service each week, we would put Christian in his pajamas, load the car, and hit the road to return to the seminary campus. We crossed the 26 mile causeway over Lake Pontchatrain, then drove east on I-10 until we came to Franklin Avenue and then Elysian Fields Avenue. It was a familiar route which we drove many, many times. We knew every sight along the way.
At the final intersection of that drive, there was one particular marvel which caught my attention almost every time I drove those streets. Outside the passenger’s window stood a massive oak tree whose roots had spread out, grown large, and busted up the concrete sidewalk. The concrete must have been at least 6 inches thick, but the power of the tree’s growth was no match for it.
It occurred to me one evening: a tiny seed did that! Growth is quite the miracle. When Jesus described the power of listening, He used the potential of a seed to capture it.
Jesus said, 8 Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
He later told his disciples in explanation:
20 And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
What’s the point? When we listen with a humble, receptive heart, God will produce in our lives what we could never produce. The growth will be quite the miracle. When we listen, and allow God to direct and shape our lives, the profound impact will be like a single seed producing 100 pieces of fruit.
Ask the person who struggled with resentment but then decided to listen to God’s Word about forgiveness. When we sincerely listen with a responsive heart, our lives will be 100 x’s more peaceful than when we refused to offer grace.
Listening to God has the power to do that. Reading Scripture, over time, has the power to transform a life 100 x’s times over. And as others look upon the difference in us, may they say, “A tiny seed did that!” Amen and amen.