Jesus spoke of our faith in relation to a mustard seed, the smallest known garden seed in that culture. He said that the faith of a mustard seed can move mountains (Matthew 17:20).

Seeds may be the most amazing example of God’s prolific creativity. Mustard seeds take 10 days to germinate. Some plants, like dreams, take longer, sometimes decades. Faith keeps those dreams alive. Even when they seem dead and buried, they are just germinating underneath the surface. In fact, the potential of a small seed can be disguised in an awfully small package; the majestic 2,000-year-old giant sequoias all start from a little seed.

The tiny mustard seed contains all the nutrients we need to survive: Vitamin B1, B6, C, E and K; it’s a source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc. Faith is like that; it’s essential for our survival and will last an eternity.

In The Circle Maker, Honi sees a man planting a carob tree. Honi asks, “How long will it take this tree to bear fruit?” The man replies, “70 years.” Honi responds, “Do you think you will live that long?” The man says, “Probably not. However, when I was born, I found many carob trees planted by my father and grandfather for me. I’m planting trees for my children and grandchildren.”

This sounds like our prayer life. We’re planting seeds for God to cultivate and eventually bear fruit that blesses future generations. When we pray, we bring a cosmic vision because even when we die, our prayers do not. Each prayer takes on an eternal life of its own. Your prayers can bless someone you may never even meet.

We often want God to quickly microwave our prayers or MapQuest His guidance. Yet, most spiritual realities in Scripture are described in slow, agricultural terms. The problem is we tend to worry more about outcomes than focusing on our inputs. When the harvest of our prayers seems like it will never come, we are tempted to stop planting. But remember, God is at work. In 1 Corinthians 3:6, Paul states, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God caused the growth.” Let’s sow kindness, generosity and love, and watch God reap them in and through us.