He said, "This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come." ~Mark 4: 26-29
The other day at Mass when the Gospel was proclaimed I was struck by the simplicity of this passage. I had heard it many times before, but this time I got something new out of it.
When we look at the seed that is scattered on the land we can look at the metaphor behind it all. The land is us. The seeds are God’s grace. All throughout our lives we have times when we experience doubt; doubt as to God’s existence, God’s love, that anything really could go right for us. Because when we are down we feel that nothing matters. But that seed that is scattered on the land begins to grow without us doing anything.
How can this be?
God’s grace is able to work through our hardness of heart. Even when it seems that there is no point to hold a belief in God because it doesn’t make sense to us, God is still there even after we have shut him out. Just because we have shut ourselves to Him doesn’t mean that he has shut Himself from us. God is always there. It can also be correlated quite well in the Footprints in the Sand poem/prayer. Even when we think God has abandoned us, he is the one who is carrying us.
It is when we are our weakest that he makes us strong. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 St. Paul writes “but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.” Even when we think it is all lost, we can always take solace in the fact that God remains with us, is with us, and will always be with us. It is when we are weak, that God makes us strong.
God is good.