I remember the game. I was in elementary school and my mom told my brother and I we had a challenge: to collect as much change as we could find. Our reward would be a trip to Burger Chef. It was a scavenger hunt of sorts and oh how I loved things like that.
Burger Chef was in its prime in the 1970’s and we were lucky to have one in our little town of Evergreen. In the 80’s the chain was bought out by Hardees and then in the mid-90’s, the last restaurant with that name closed its doors.
The truth is, my mom had been invited to lunch that day and she literally only had some pocket change. But she wanted so badly to accept the invitation and for us to get to enjoy a meal out, so she prayed and asked God to help us find enough money to go. I remember rummaging through my parents’ bedroom, carefully looking through drawers, under pieces of furniture, in pockets of clothes hanging on hangers. We would celebrate every time someone found a nickel or dime and especially when it was a quarter. My mom told us that we needed to trust God and that He would provide.
We got to go to Burger Chef that day. I don’t remember what we ate but I remember the fun time we had scavenging for change. I remember savoring the sweet taste of the reward of hard work.
That’s how my mom (and later dad, too) raised me…to trust God in all things and believe that He will provide. My mom trusted God for even the most basic items like groceries, gas and utility payments. I remember us picking up a hitchhiker one time (this was back in the day when hitchhiking was acceptable and most hitchhikers weren’t crazy) and he left a dollar bill on the floor for us to put toward gas. It didn’t take an economic genius to figure out that wasn’t much, but I remember thinking, “he must have given the most he could give.” And back then a dollar could buy quite a bit…half of a movie ticket, hot cakes and syrup at McDonalds, a pound of coffee, 5 cucumbers, 2 packages of spaghetti, 5 pounds of onions or a jar of Skippy Peanut Butter. (And do you remember La Yogurt? You could get three of those for a buck.)
I call that Burger Chef outing our “mustard seed” meal because it signified so much more than us getting to each lunch, it represented God’s faithfulness over my mom’s small change. She started with a few coins and thought, “I can trust God for more,” and she used that change to believe Him to grow what she already had. The Bible talks about “faith as small as a mustard seed” in Matthew 17 and it’s one of my favorite tangible examples of how God provides for us.
Think about the mustard seed examples in the Bible…David’s handful of rocks, Moses’ staff, Noah’s lumber and nails, Esther’s nervous idea…these people started with something small and believed God that big things could come of their trust and obedience.
At the end of my marriage I had very little left in my emotional reserves. I knew that I was completely broken and that the boys and I would need some serious emotional help. I was lacking confidence and self-worth but knew deep down that I was loved by God. I felt inadequate as a mother but had a desire to see my children taken care of.
I would say that all I had was a pocketful of longing for me and my boys to be okay. And I understood it would take some hard work and grit to get the healing that we needed. So I gathered up my handful of desire and gave it to God, and He took my mustard-seed yearning and turned it into a miraculous healing. I am so grateful to Him.
So if you have something small in your pocket (a wish, a hope or a prayer) or something in your heart (a desire, longing or aspiration), gather it up and give it to God and ask Him to grow it like he does the mustard seed. And then roll up your sleeves and get in there and do the work necessary to see your dream turn into realty. God can take even the smallest amount of faith or desire and grow it in your life. I happen to know this because He did it for me and my boys. And we are who we are today because of God’s grace and a desperate desire to pursue Him and all He has to offer.
If you know someone who could benefit from this post, please share. God carved out a path of intense healing for me and I would like to share it with as many people who need or want to hear.