wings, a mustard seed, and a little faith

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."
((Psalm 91:4))

"Are you all set to check out? I said robotically, as a shadow, also known as a human being, stood before me. I had a headache at this point during my work day and after a while every customer seemingly blends into "the one customer." This is the truth. I promise. At least it is for me. Especially when I am working while sleepy.

"Did you find everything okay today, sir?" I said to the elderly man that stood before me at the cash-wrap, with a valentine's card for his obviously beloved wife. "Yes," he said with a nod of his Air Force hat donned head and a polite smile spread wide across his happiness-lined face.

I proceeded to scan the card and another item that the man had in his pile to buy, without even realizing what it was, and mumbled on about valentine's day rapidly approaching as I did so. "Small talk. You've got to make small talk, Sarah. And he's really super nice. Smile and humor him already even if you have a blasted headache, woman!" I mentally screamed at myself.

Do you have a member's card with us, sir?" I asked the man. He replied with his name, first and last, and I typed it out onto the keyboard, searching for the right name and address. Once I found the right name in our computer system I marveled at just how cool and unique his name was. "O-h-t-o. Now that's a unique way of spelling that name. I bet Ohto would make one heck of a cool character name!" I thought as my mind wondered where the nearest post-it-note was to me so I could jot down the customer's super cool name as soon as he left the bookstore.

"Have you read that Harbinger book, yet?" Mr. Ohto asked me out of the blue. "No, I haven't, but my mother recently bought the book and has liked reading through it so far," I replied quickly. "You know you all should set that book by Peggy Joyce Ruth (at least I think this is the author he mentioned?) right beside that Harbinger one. "Why's that?" I asked him. "So when you get all depressed from reading the other one you can find some hope afterwards." I laughed slightly under my breath at his comment. I'm pretty sure he was half joking and half completely serious at this point. "Hmm, I've not heard of that book before," I told him.

"It's all about faith and's wonderful and she goes into reading through Psalm 91...prayers of protection...even wrote a version for soldiers, y'know," he said imparting this knowledge, which he obviously loved and held near to his heart, to me with a smile still painted across his face.

Fast forward a few minutes...............

"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.
((Matthew 13:31-32))

"It's because our faith is too small," Mr. Ohto and I said together, as if shadowing one another. He said it boldly and I nearly whispered it. In that moment I remembered my own struggles with faith and hope this week, that were lodged  in the back of my mind. Mr. Ohto was teaching me something, and maybe just maybe, it was Jesus speaking through him in this very moment in time.

"Yes, what he said...we have a little mustard seed of a faith," said a woman who had been eavesdropping over mine and Ohto's little faith filled conversation for who knows how long. The woman stood right behind Mr. Ohto, as she went perusing through a pile of five-dollar books and CD's and DVD's, she then interjected her way into mine and Mr. Ohto's conversation about the Harbinger book, and the other book he'd mentioned too, as well as talk of hope and faith.

Ohto and I wrapped up our conversation with the third-party-woman and I finished the transaction. Then Mr. Ohto walked off and ran into a familiar face as he turned to leave the bookstore. A few moments later when it was the eavesdropper-lady's turn to check out at the counter she got teary eyed and said that she had just been reading through Psalm 91 and was praying for a dear friend who was terminally ill. She reveled at how amazing it was to run into one person (like Mr. Ohto) who could affirm what God had been speaking to her heart lately through her little faith. She was more right than she knew to revel, because I was doing the same thing too.

Ohto had let Jesus use himself to speak to me, unknowingly perhaps, and to affirm a hurting and very heavily burdened woman's prayers through a seemingly silly rant over the Harbinger book and what faith can really do for a person. God is amazing is He not? He uses our brothers and sisters as HIS vessels. HE speaks to us even when we don't want to hear HIM (or even see HIS works that HE is planting in the now for a reaping that will take place later down the road.) God is sowing seeds all around us, each and every one of us, every day, even when we don't think so. I now know this to be true more than ever before.

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My faith had been weak lately. I'd not looked towards God in every situation and moment like I know I should have done. And I'd not prayed as diligently for HIM to lead me and my life as of late as much I'd like to admit either. And let's not forget about my issues with trusting HIM lately too. (Sheesh!) Because I've not been trusting the Lord with the season (Ecc. 3:1) that I'm currently walking through in my life.

Sometimes I wonder why God would even want me, much less actually use me. Why little old me? Because I have so very little faith sometimes, in HIM or in myself, and even though I strive to be a beacon of hope in a shadowed world, by being as transparent as I can possibly get, I still feel so very small and weighed down by life's heavy burdens. It's in these times I find I cry more. I grasp after my comfortable secure more. And occasionally I'll pick up those basic-instructions-before-leaving-earth and give it the old looksee, even though I should do that every day already. Can I get an amen!?

I wonder how I can possibly learn to have a mustard seed faith? How does one procure a small, sincere and transparent faith after all? One that is really real and not just a good-girl facade. A faith that no island storm could shake...a faith and hope like the one Mr. Ohto spoke of. A real faith. A trusting faith. A faith that believes God to be the shield and rampart around us and over each and every one of us forever and ever.

Yes, I want a faith like that. So I'll decide to start out small. Baby steps eventually grow into long strides, right? I know that my God will be by my side always, small faith or big faith, HE is there.

"Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
((Matthew 17:20))

I'll admit there are those days that I claim I have a true, deep faith (which I do for the most part) and yet sometimes I forget to really live out my faith some days, you know? I'm talking about those days when things are so rough and stressful that you feel like you might just melt into a pool of tears. Those days when you claim Christianity as your lifestyle, but don't necessarily live it out to the fullest extent. Those days when you wish you had what your neighbor or best friend has, you know, the things that you so desire, but know that it's not your time for them to come about in your own life just yet.

It's those days I've learned, through Mr. Ohto's simple yet thought provoking conversation with me yesterday, and with a lot of help from God of course with the hind-sight, that I must come to HIM with a faith as small and as unfettered as a mustard seed. A small, raw, honest and totally imperfect faith striving to be the most authentic real woman in a world full of wannabe good girl's and faith-filled-fakers.

So on those days when I'm feeling less than hopeful or faith filled, or even jut plain frightened about my every next step in life, I'll be sure to remember that tiny seed of mustard faith, the one that lovingly reminds me that HE still wants me, little faith and all. HE wants my heart. HE wants my love. HE wants the best I can give HIM. HE wants my faith firmly planted in HIS soil. HE wants my trust. HE wants to be my place of peace.

Small and sure as a mustard seed, I will find my wings and come to hide in his feathers.

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Have you studied Psalm 91? What's your favorite verse? 
Let's talk about small faith in the comments section, okay? I'd absolutely love to hear from you!


  1. I loved reading this Sarah. Such truths there and really life lived experiences that many can relate to. I often, even at 45 wonder why God would want me and then I am thankful that I don't have to rely on me, but on Him. We are all tattered and torn, broken and insufficient but Oh how He loves us!

    1. Yes, I'm so grateful that I don't have to rely on myself either. I love that HE loves the tattered and insufficient ones, like me and you.

  2. This is beautiful, and exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you for posting it. :)

    1. I'm so glad I could share my heart with you, Sarah Michelle! Thank you for reading and commenting! <3

  3. Sarah,
    Wow. What a lovely story. The opening verse is one of my all time favorites - it was a memory verse in my hs small group I led a few years back. It is so reassuring to know that we are not alone, that God is our "shadow", especially in times of trials and hardships. I think that you are so humble to be willing to share your thoughts so transparently - it takes a lot of guts.

    Also, I feel that something I have learned in my own life is that it is through the times of struggling with trusting God that we gain strength. It is often when we feel the weakest, but think about it - you don't build muscle in the physical without first breaking it down, then going through soreness, taking a break, then breaking them down again. That's how I like to think about our faith "muscle" - you have to struggle and fight, but in the end it causes you to gain strength in this area.

    All this to say, even if at times it feels you're moving backwards in an area, continue chasing hard after Jesus! It's all about the process :) You are such an encouragement to so many, and I believe you are well on your way to an amazing journey.
    <3, Lys

  4. Oh, I really like the whole "Faith Muscle" analogy! And thank you for your sweet words, Lys, because they mean the world to me! <3


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