What are the smallest seeds on earth?

You might guess mustard seeds. Close, but not quite.

How about poppy seeds?

They’re very tiny. You’ll find out how extremely tiny they are if you accidentally spill them on the floor. You’ll discover that you can’t pick them all up by hand: it’s hopeless. You have to bring out your vacuum. (Don’t ask me how I found this out!)

Actually, the tiniest seeds on earth are said to be those of certain orchids from the tropical rainforest. Each of these dust-like seeds weighs only one 35 millionth of an ounce. They’re smaller than a grain of salt.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the prize for the largest seed on earth probably goes to the Coco-de-Mer palm tree of the Seychelles Islands. One of its seeds can weigh up to 45 pounds.

Mustard seeds are a bit larger than poppy seeds, but they’re still exceptionally tiny compared to most seeds.

They’re so small that Jesus used them as an example in one of His teachings. Surprisingly, He said that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we could see great things accomplished.

How is this possible?

Because when we have even a small amount of pure faith, God uses it as a force multiplier. Our tiny contribution somehow provides the spark for God’s power to show up in a big way.

Jesus taught His disciples this truth when they asked why they were unsuccessful in driving a demon out of a boy.

“He answered, ‘Because of your little faith [your lack of trust and confidence in the power of God]; for I assure you and most solemnly say to you, if you have [living] faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and [if it is God’s will] it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.’ ” (Matthew 17:20 AMP)

Clearly, it’s the power of God that works miracles, not human power. But in God’s economy, we still have a role to play. It seems that our faith, even when small, lights the match that sets off a chain reaction that can result in an explosion of blessings.

Little is much when God steps in!

Consider the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand.

In the midst of Jesus’ ministry, a problem arose. The thousands of people listening to Him were getting hungry. The number of men was 5,000, but adding in women and children would bring the total to perhaps 15,000 people. They were in a remote place: there were no restaurants nearby, and they couldn’t exactly order takeout.

One little boy stepped forward in faith and offered what he had: five loaves and two fishes. It was sweet of him, but the disciples knew there was no way that could feed even a tiny fraction of the people there.

Image by Leonard J. Matthews on Flickr CC BY ND-2.0

But Jesus honoured the boy’s faith. It acted as a force multiplier as God performed a miracle, providing enough food for the entire multitude, plus twelve baskets of leftovers.

Our faith, even if it starts out small, can pack a punch when it’s coupled with God’s power.

And the point of faith is that, like a seed, it won’t stay small. It will grow and blossom.

Jesus said of the mustard seed: “Although it is the smallest of all seeds, yet it grows into the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” (Matthew 13:32)

So even if your faith right now is as small as a mustard seed (or even an orchid seed!), take hope.

God can use your faith to bring blessings to others and to trigger miracles that you couldn’t imagine!

© 2022 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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