Impossible Beginnings

Story of the Day for Saturday August 11, 2012 

Impossible Beginnings



      And in those days, Peter got up in the midst of the brothers – a group numbering about a hundred and twenty. 

                                             Acts 1:15



Have you ever seen a tree that is six feet in diameter? I’ve seen only a handful of trees that large in my lifetime.

That is why I was impressed when I read, that in January 2006, in California, a branch fell off a tree that measured more than six feet in diameter! A branch.


The branch came from a Great Sequoia, named “General Sherman.” This tree towers 275 feet high and measures over 100 feet around at the base.  Its bark is about three feet thick. And – get this – the tree was already 3,327 years old when Columbus reached the new world.

Want to know something else about this tree? The General Sherman once started as a seed. A really, really tiny seed, in fact.  3000 sequoia seeds weigh only one ounce!


After Jesus ascended to heaven, he entrusted the work of God’s kingdom on this earth to a small handful of followers. After their first head count, they only number one hundred and twenty believers.

Jesus’ followers faced immediate opposition from the Jewish leaders.  But, beyond that, the mighty Roman Empire loomed over this meager bunch of disciples, and its emperors would soon dedicate themselves to eradicating all followers of Jesus from the earth.

Things didn’t look promising, to put it mildly. But, look around today at what God has accomplished from this small beginning.


So, what’s the point?  I’m not entirely sure I should tell you. (Have you ever noticed how often Jesus told parables and made puzzling comments, and then let us wrestle with his words?)

But, surely you’ve heard the old slogan, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Well, yeah, that’s true. But, sometimes the first step seems so insignificant, that I’m tempted to cancel the trip and watch a football game instead.


If you’re ever discouraged by beginnings, maybe this will help. The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago had an exhibit. A checkerboard had one grain of wheat on the first square. Two grains on the second square. Four on the next square.

By doubling a single grain of wheat each square, how many grains will you have by the final 64th square? Enough to cover the entire subcontinent of India fifty feet deep!

All big things start as small things.  When the Lord sets a dream before you, don’t be afraid to start. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is like a seed . . . “

                         (copyright by and by Marty Kaarre)