There once was an older woman, whose only son had died. She loved the Lord, but in her grief she went to her pastor and asked, "How should I pray? What can I do to rid myself of this great pain?" Her pastor didn't reason with her or send her away. Instead, he said to her, "I want you to go and retrieve a mustard seed from a home that has never known any sorrow. We will use it as a "seed of faith" in our prayers to remove the sting of your pain!"
Immediately the woman went off in search of that mustard seed. Her first thought was to go to the more affluent part town, thinking their comfortable and prosperous way of life must be better than her own. She knocked at the door and said, "I am looking for a home that has never known sorrow. Is this such a place?" Very quickly, they told her, "Without doubt you've come to the wrong residence" and then began to describe all the tragic things that had recently befallen them.
The woman thought to herself, "Who is better able to help these poor, unfortunate people than I, who has had such great misfortune of my own?" She stayed with this family for a while... to pray for, comfort and encourage them. She cooked a small meal as she listened to their sorrows and she provided a handkerchief, given to her by her son, for the many tears that were shed.
Next, she moved on, in search of a home that had never known sorrow. Still, where ever she turned, in mansions or in cabins, she found one tale after another of sincere sadness and misfortune.
She became so involved in ministering to other people's grief, that eventually she forgot her own quest for the "mustard seed of faith." In fact, her compassion for others had driven the deep sorrow out of her life, before she ever realized what had happened.
Yes, the woman was reeling from the shock of losing her only son and soon that loss became her dwelling place. She had lost her focus in life and was not able to see beyond it. The grief became so heavy, it began to bury her.
In order to help her sorrow dissipate, her focal point had to change. She had to see that suffering has no boundaries or limits. Quite the opposite actually, adversities and anguish can and do besiege the weakest to the strongest, it attacks the poorest to the richest... it has no margins to exclude anyone.
Still, charity, compassion and kindness all heal the soul! Love for one another will quite possibly... also help to ease our own pain and sorrows!
This woman didn't know it... but she already had a "mustard seed" of faith. Without it she could never have offered a helping hand or comfort to those who needed it even more than she actually did! It happened because she shifted her focus back on to her Lord!
Every one of us is destined to experience pain at some point in our lives, so it might be beneficial to know how to "act upon it" in advance. Simply put, we must always remember to keep our focal point on the Lord and not just our circumstances.
So my friend, when your pain is greatest... will you remember your focal point? Will you have enough faith to believe God will carry you through... even if it is only a faith the size of a "mustard seed?"