10/01/2017

Abbey Parsley

I look around the sanctuary at the people of my church family. Many of these people I’ve known for 13 years or more. I know their hurts. Some I don’t, as I am just getting to know them. But I know many, the situations where their hearts have taken a blow. I know some are struggling physically, an illness that needs miraculous healing. Some are struggling with addiction. Some are struggling relationally. Some have lost loved ones. Some have been devastated by divorce. Some have experienced possession loss. Some have suffered the ache of infertility. Some are battling anxiety and depression. Some are struggling with job loss.

And still…

Still they show up every Sunday.

Still they encourage and pray for those around them.

Still their arms stretch high.

Still their hearts yearn for more of God, hungry for Him.

Still they do ministry, serving others.

Still they proclaim God’s goodness.

It’s a beautiful sight to see these people worshipping God amongst each other with the weights of their own realities surrounding…shouldering others’ burdens in prayer, speaking life. Jesus gave a parable in the book of Mark that is fully encompassing of what is visual now.

And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?

It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds

on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants

and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

Mark 4:30-32

With current realities in mind, eyes sweep again and see the soon-to-be mama beginning to show, who struggled with infertility for years. There’s the couple holding hands, praising God together, who were standing on the threshold of divorce. There’s the one who was held up in the chains of addiction, now walking freely, in love with Jesus. The parents whose child walked away and is now sitting next to them, fully restored relationally. The cancer patient who was told by doctors there were only months left; that was years ago. Too many redemptive stories to recount.

This. This is what the kingdom of God is about. We plant our mustard seed of faith, no matter how small, and God grows it to be the largest in the garden, with branches to reach out to others around us, to support each other. To pray together and watch Him redeem and restore.  Plant your seed of faith. Invest in the Kingdom.

I love you, church family.