We were supposed to close on a house before Thanksgiving. My husband, Brian, even purchased some flower bulbs in preparation for moving into the new house and planting them. I won’t go into all the details, but God took our family on a journey of faith through that home buying process in order to show us that our faith is always to be placed second in line to His grace.
God showed us that faith can be an idol when it is placed before His grace.
Ephesians 2:8-10 reads: It is by grace you have been saved through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. so that no one can boast.
After the deal “fell through,” God told me that the house we were going to buy was as big as my faith. It was too small. He told me that faith grows and shrinks based upon our level of obedience to God, but that His grace always remains the same – it is huge and never ending. I say all this to tell you about the flower bulbs.
I was saving those flower bulbs for our future home. I did not know when we would get a house, but I was going to save them until we did. It’s spring now. The Christmas holidays have come and gone. Brian was working in the yard (in this house we are leasing), and as I stood there and watched him plant things, God said, “Get the bulbs.” I froze. I really didn’t want to get the bulbs. I really didn’t want to plant them in “this house.” I was waiting for our future home, our future yard, our future blessing. I was saving them for a better place. I walked slowly; if we planted them here, it would mean that we were planted here - for only God knew how long. I knew I better be obedient, however, and I went and got them.
When I brought them out to Brian he said, “Oh great! I forgot all about those things. Open them up and lay them out. What are the directions? 4 inches apart, 3 inches deep?”
Brian was so happy about planting the bulbs here. I was amazed at his lightheartedness – his ability to rejoice regardless of circumstances. Brian has such a free-spirited faith, a deep trust in God. Me? I am much more emotional. I knew that it was God’s will that we did not purchase that other home. I knew God was doing a much bigger work in all of us. He taught us that the only homes we ever really own on this earth are the ones His Holy Spirit dwells in with our spirits – within these earthly temples (bodies) of ours. Still, I felt the flesh part of where we were, and I could not hide it from God.
The next day, I was encouraging a friend. At the end of the conversation, I shared with her that Brian planted “the bulbs” yesterday. I told her how I really didn’t want to plant them “here.” She was silent and then she said, “Kristina! Do you know what happens to bulbs under the ground? It is underground that they grow stronger; they multiply! God is going to give you a double portion – you just wait and see! Plus, you know you can dig them up when you move!”
I was silent. All of a sudden I realized that God was doing much more than I could see with my mere earthly eyes. As I hung up the phone, I was so thankful that I was obedient. If I had been stubborn and held tightly to the bulbs, I would have robbed myself of a future blessing. I would have forgotten that it is by His grace that anything happens anyway, and I was so thankful that my friend reminded me of how God works. Praise Him!
The Parable of the Growing Seed
He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain – first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her recently founded Share & Company Publishing House http://seymourkristina.wix.