“The seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.” (Mark 4:27)

When you were a child, you may have been given a model for a present—perhaps a model airplane or boat. Can you remember looking at the picture on the box and getting excited to see that model in its fin­ished state? However, you found that if you didn’t follow the directions and assemble the pieces in the right order, your model didn’t come out quite right.

This is a useful analogy for think­ing about Jesus’ parables of the kingdom of God. It’s more exciting to think about the “finished prod­uct,” isn’t it? We look at people like Mother Teresa and John Paul II, and marvel. They were living mod­els of the life Jesus portrayed in his parables—the full grain of wheat ripe and mature and ready for the har­vest. Still, as inspiring as they are, we need to understand that they didn’t become such beautiful models of the kingdom overnight. No one does.

Holiness happens one step at a time, not all at once—and we are not fully in charge of the process. It is God who molds, shapes, and glues all the pieces of our lives, making us into living examples of a life lived in his love and power. And even more amazing, it is God who supplies us with the desire and the ability to ful­fill his purposes. Our part is simply to follow God’s directions, step by step, and not worry about the end result.

If you think the Lord is calling you in a certain direction, go there—even if you can’t see how it contributes to the final product. If you’re trying your best and nothing’s working out, be patient. God is still at work, bringing his plan to completion. Let go of any stress, anxiety, and fear you may feel, and allow yourself to smile. For God, the Master Builder, is working everything together for your good!

“Lord, today I’m going to let you be in charge. I trust that you are at work in me, building me and shaping me in ways I can’t even imagine!”