Mark 4:5-7

On stressful days, abundant life seems hard to come by, and problems seem plentiful.  As stress spreads, generosity shrinks. Calculating what a mistake would cost keeps us from trying something new. We worry rather than learn. We withdraw instead of trust. We trade growth for paralysis and faith for fear. 

Mark knows the stress that Christ’s church is under. Fear threatens their faith and they desperately need hope. He knows that the God they love is as creative as creation itself. The God they serve shares the gifts of abundant life when life is difficult. The God they worship does not rest until the unfolding divine masterpiece is pronounced good. No matter how challenging the circumstances, God loves us like an extravagant farmer who lets seeds fall everywhere without concern for maximizing the outcome of each one. This sower has an overabundance of seed and complete confidence that the harvest will turn out well.

I’m no farmer, but this sower’s technique seems unusual. Maybe Jesus uses this parable to help us realize that God who is worthy of trust works in unusual ways. God invites our trust despite troubling times, and Jesus confidently tells us that God’s goodness is assured. God, source of true confidence, creates a way in the face of difficulties. God guides us to envision possibilities in the middle of despair. Even when unfruitful soil makes up three-fourths of the field, God is not finished. We have every reason to hope. 

What would our days be like if we remembered each morning that followers of Christ have every reason to hope? 


How has stress threatened your faith? When has God shown you a new path in a difficult time?


God, too often we fixate on despair when you invite us to look at you. Help us trust your direction and draw our confidence from the hope you are creating around us. Amen.

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