I have read the Bible many times, but I realised recently that although I had read Genesis chapter 1 over and over again, I had missed that God said in verse 3 ‘And there was evening and there was morning the first day! It struck me that it was strange that God said evening and then morning and that made the first day. To my mind I would have thought he would have said ‘it was morning and evening the first day!’ But you see God created something in the darkness and at the right time he brought forth the light. Often when we are surrounded by darkness, painful problems, and difficult situations, it is so hard to see that the light, (the answers) will come. The darkness seems so dark at 11pm. However, the truth is that at 12 midnight something happens although we do not see it. It changes from pm to am – and even though we are still surrounded by darkness, we have turned a corner. We know that at some point in the next few hours, the light will come. At the time there is nothing to suggest in the circumstances around us that anything will change, but we know that as we continue to hang on, the light will come.
The same is true for our hard and difficult situations. It may seem as though darkness is reigning and nothing will change but, if we keep trusting God for the light, we will see a change in our circumstances and a new day will come into sight. Whatever darkness, problem, or situation is in your life, put your trust in God in the darkness and I tell you his light – his answers – his solutions will come!
I also noticed in the Bible that Jesus says that all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed. A mustard seed is the smallest seed there is, so our faith need only be small to see miracles happen. However, something we may have missed is that Jesus goes on to say that when this small mustard seed is planted it will grow and become the largest of all garden plants with such big branches that the birds of the air will perch in its shade. We all like to quote that Jesus says all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed but we don’t go on to read what Jesus says to do with this mustard seed faith. We need to plant it! We need to plant our faith.
So, my question to you is: have you planted your faith?
I taught this during my latest ‘Tea and Cake with Nancy’ and encouraged those who listened to make sure they plant their seed. What do I mean? How do I plant my seed? Well, the first thing I want you to notice is a seed is planted into the darkness – into the earth. I believe it is important to plant our faith at a time where there seems to be no hope. Perhaps the doctors have been telling you there is no hope? Or perhaps it’s your bank account that is shouting to you that there is no hope? Or maybe you are longing for your family to be saved and/or healed, but there seems no hope. Perhaps someone has harmed you physically, emotionally, spiritually and you are hurting and there seems no hope – this is the time to plant your mustard seed….in the darkness – when there is little or no hope.
Paul and Silas did just that! In Acts 16 it tells us they were arrested and put in jail, in fact into an inner cell. In other words, they were put into the darkest cell where there was no light whatsoever. They had been beaten, severely flogged and now had their feet in stocks to make sure there was no way they could escape. What did they do in the darkness? What did they do when there was little or no hope? In the darkness they planted their seed of faith, and they sang praises to God! Remarkable! We often forget that they didn’t know the end of the story. They didn’t know a miracle was going to happen. For them it was a time of darkness when fear and anxiety could have overcome them, but instead they decided to praise God. They didn’t know that God was going to supernaturally answer their prayers. We know that’s what happened because we have read the Bible, but they were in the middle of the story, and they didn’t know how it was going to end. That’s what makes this story so inspiring and so remarkable. They didn’t know what would happen as they praised God….but in the darkness of their situation, in the darkness of the night, in the darkness of being beaten, they praised God.
The first thing a seed does when it is planted into good soil is to put its roots down deep into the earth to get the nutrients it needs to grow. Water is essential for the seed to grow. There is much growth underneath the ground – hidden from sight, but then at some point the seed will sprout and we will begin to see what has been happening in the darkness. The same is true for us. In order for us to grow in faith we need to plant our seed into good soil, in other words into the word of God.
It is essential that we spend time with the Lord daily if we want to grow….reading his word, talking with him, seeking his face, drinking in his presence, worshipping him, listening to him. putting our roots down deep and being drenched in his Spirit. This is all unseen – this is you and the Lord spending time together – putting your roots down deep into the soil of his word and drawing up his life-giving water and being drenched in the Holy Spirit.
So, let me ask you again – have you planted your seed? Have you put your roots down deep? I cannot stress enough how important our relationship is with the Lord when we go through dark times.
It’s good to remember that often in the darkness we see our greatest potential growth. A seed grows hugely in the darkness and at some point, we will see what’s been happening as the growth shows itself in the light. The same is true for us! As we trust God and hold on to him in the darkness, as we keep reading his word, believing the truth of the Bible, keep talking to the Lord and putting our roots down into him – we will see the darkness dispel as the light of his life shines into all our dark places. Keep trusting, keep rejoicing, keep praising and keep believing the truth of the word of God – let me remind that as you do this in the darkness, you will see the light of his love shining on you! Woohoo!