Birds in My Mustard Tree
Susanne Scheppmann

"He said to them, 'Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.'" Matthew 17:20 (AMP)

What are birds in a mustard tree? Let me see if I can explain.

My pomegranate bush resembles a Christmas tree decorated by the hand of God. Its branches hang heavy with crimson bulbs of fruit. It sways in the wind and I catch a whiff of the overripe fruit. Various sparrows and robins sit on the branches like "twelve partridges in a pear tree." I hear the high-pitched music of finches and hummingbirds beyond the lush fruit, deep within the branches. The birds on the outer limbs dance while the hidden birds sing a bird medley.

To me this pomegranate bush reflects in the physical world what happens in the spiritual world of faith. Our faith may be small and sometimes hidden, but it can make our souls sing. We find Jesus speaking about faith in our key verse, "He said to them, 'Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you'" Matthew 17:20 (AMP). He taught that even small faith could move a mountain.

But what are birds in a mustard tree? It's my phrase for recognizing God's response to my smallest faith and most doubt-filled prayers. The birds in my mustard tree are proof to me that God works as long as I have the tiniest bit of faith in His almighty power.

Author David Jeremiah wrote in My Heart's Desire:

"You may sometimes feel awkward and uncomfortable, and find yourself saying, 'Is this really true? I don't see anything in it. I don't hear God's voice. I don't feel His presence.' There are days like that for all of us. The pursuit of God has no shortcuts. You simply must keep walking, keep seeking, and keep yearning. Keep at it, and you won't be disappointed."

One example of mustard seed faith comes to mind as I think back to when my two sons were little boys. I began to pray for their future wives. So, I made a "shopping list" of prayers for daughters-in-law. My list included: godly, kind, sense of humor, good cooks, and fun families. Those prayers have been answered completely. I consider my "daughters-in-love" to be two of the most evident birds to result from my faith.

What would you list as evidences of your faith?

If we combined our lists, we would be amazed at the variety of "birds" we would see. In the days and years ahead, we will see many more birds come to roost in our mustard trees of faith.

Even if my faith is as tiny as a mustard seed, God can bring about miraculous results. He can grow my faith so large that it can host a multitude of His wonderful deeds. I call these the "birds in my mustard tree."

Dear Lord, show me the variety of truths about faith. I ask today for You to reveal to me the unseen aspects of my faith. Grant me the knowledge, wisdom, and revelation to perceive the birds that rest in my mustard tree of faith. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Join us for more Everyday Life encouragement

Birds in My Mustard Tree by Susanne Scheppmann

Fresh Grounded Faith: Devotions to Awaken Your Spirit by Jennifer Rothschild

Visit Susanne's Blog and find other books by her here

Application Steps:
What actions can I take in response to this message?

Do I consider my faith to be weak or strong or somewhere in between?

What would I declare as the fruit of my faith—the birds in my mustard tree?

Power Verses:
Hebrews 11:6, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (NIV)

Romans 10:17, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." (NIV)

Acts 3:16, "By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see." (NIV)

© 2009 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I praise God...because I know He is here! God has a special way of waking me up to pray. One of my kids will either talk in their sleep or cough or some weird noise to get me out of bed. The past few months I have stuggled w/ faith. Financially we are struggling. My season of life I am struggling. I have had trouble latly getting out of bed to pray because I have been so discouraged. Despite everything ...It was so special that God woke me up to pray and read this devotion. God I know you are here. Thank you! Thank you that I know You love me. Everywhere I turn God is telling me not to give up.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow this is me i struggle with my faith so much but i keep coming back to people who i know have strong faith and asking them to pray for me. your devotion was placed here for me so i would know to just keep beliving no matter how small my faith seems it is enough for god thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The two previous readers that shared really encouraged my heart. Sometimes we feel we are alone in this battle to trust God and to have faith. But reading the devotion today and seeing the comments already posted gave me a spark inside that let me know God's truth lives on! Praise be to The Most High. I feel His love. Thank you ladies and thanks for the daily devotion.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, am so encouraged by your devotion, Susanne, and the other ladies comments. Thank you! I know much of the time my faith in small as a mustard seed, but you've shown the hope it can bring. I'm currently working on your Bible study, "Birds in My Mustard Seed," and it is so timely!

Anonymous Jessica said...

Thanks for a great devotion!

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