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Small Acts of Faith

Plant seeds of faith and trust that God will help them bloom into something beautiful.

By Keri Wyatt Kent, Chicago, Illinois


"What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” Mark 4:30–32 NIV

Today, on a cold day in late winter, I acted on faith by planting poppies. While it’s way too early to plant anything else, this is prime planting time for poppies. The seeds are tiny—like the poppy seeds you’d find on a bakery roll.

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If I hadn’t seen it happen every year, I’d find it hard to believe that by late June, those tiny seeds will become bright pink puffy flowers the size of my fist, blooming on stalks two feet tall or more. I harvested these seeds last year from plants. I’ve done this for years, starting with some seeds given me by gardening mentors.

To plant poppies requires faith. And action. You simply scatter them on the soil (in some years, I’ve put them right on top of snow). The seeds need cold to germinate, so I’m hoping I haven’t planted too late. Optimally, I should have planted them last month. But if I leave them in the plastic bag on the shelf, they’ll never be flowers. They’ll just be good intentions.

Jesus often used seeds as a picture of the kingdom of heaven. He was not talking about a someday, somewhere-else kingdom, but rather, a present reality. Even when it’s still winter, I trust spring will come. I trust God will provide, and help the seeds I’m planting to bloom. He’ll take my small acts of faith, and grow them into something beautiful.

Faith Step: What seeds do you need to plant today, even if you are skeptical that they will ever result in beauty or fruit?

Keri Wyatt Kent is the author of many devotionals, including Simple Compassion and Oxygen. She writes and speaks to help people slow down, simplify, and rest so that they can listen to God. Keri is a member of Willow Creek Community Church, where she has taught, led groups and volunteered in a variety of ministries for more than two decades. She and her husband, Scot, live with their teenage son and daughter in Illinois.