A mustard seed looks nothing like the plant or tree it produces. What we hope for, for our children or ourselves, we often can imagine in our mind’s eye. A future doctor, or president of a corporation, or perhaps just healing from a disease. But this first reading of Paul to the Romans tells us that the Lord answers our prayers in his way. If what we see happening in our mind’s eye differs from what we had hoped for, we are quickly tempted to lose hope. But Jesus knows what we are longing for. Perhaps peace and fulfillment for us or our children. This happens in ways we could never have imagined when we first prayed.
When our family moved to Houston from the East Coast, we were far from our family and friends. We tried to fit in by volunteering at our church. The community was happy to have us, but we were always casual acquaintances. When our children were old enough to go to college and leave home, we lost hope that I would find work closer to the family up north. We continued to pray. As our children returned from college, we began the idea of a spaghetti night once a week. Our children were invited back home on Wednesday for a spaghetti dinner and bring their friends. Later, that expanded to neighbors, too. To make a long story short, Wednesday spaghetti night still happens with children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, neighbors, and acquaintances. Our cup is overflowing.
Perhaps we can imagine what the Lord has in store for us but not be surprised when he fulfills our dreams with something we could not have ever imagined.
Let us Pray:
You set a table before me. In front of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Indeed, goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the House of the Lord for endless days. (Psalm 23)