The imperceptible work of God

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Photograph I took in Pudsey in Spring last year

I was listening this week to the brilliant Pray as you go podcast. It’s been going through Mark’s gospel and yesterday’s reading (read on the podcast by a man with a wonderful Irish brogue!) was:

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.”

Mark 4: 26-29

It made me think again about how God operates in our lives. There are a lot of parables and metaphors of growth and nature in the Bible. In our modern western culture, we are so far from these kinds of images that it takes us an extra step to understand or process what Jesus is saying.

When you think about it, it really is a mystery how things grow in the ground and are then turned into food. We know scientifically what is going on, but there is still something mysterious about the way things grow all on their own.

I was reflecting on this short reading and thinking, a lot of the process of growth is completely imperceptible to us. We can’t see what’s going on under the surface of the ground and we don’t really get how it works. Is this how God is at work in us? I think it is.

The last few weeks I’ve been really stressed about my work situation. After praying with some friends I have recently had a strange serenity about things which can only have come from God. Just as the sower in this parable, ‘I don’t know how’.

How is God working imperceptibly in you? Where does most of the growth take place? Can you see it?

Here is a short video from Youtube showing some corn growing. You might find it helpful to mute your speakers as the music doesn’t quite fit for reflection and meditation. Watch where the growth is, look at the detail:

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