Friday, April 13, 2018

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 69: A Seed's Power

Key Verse

"He causes the grass to grow for the livestock, and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food out of the earth:" Psalm 104:14 NHEB


Have you ever wondered how a seed sprouts and pushes up through heavy soil? Or how a small root can crack rock and break through concrete? The power of nature can be marvelous. The secret of a plant’s power lies in the structure of its cells. Plant cells have strong cell walls unlike animal cells. These walls give plant cells reinforcement. When the seed encounters the proper temperature and moisture conditions the growth or germination process will begin. Water enters the seed through a small hole in the shell called the micropyle.

This process of water absorption is called imbibition. As water is taken into the cells of the plant, they swell but do not burst because of the cell wall reinforcement. This creates pressure inside the seed (turgor pressure). It is impossible to compress water, so the pressure builds due to the swelling cells until the sprout forces its way out of the shell. As the plant grows its cells multiply and fill with water through osmosis. This gives the plant enough power to push through the soil or even rock and stand up against gravity. Turgor pressure is an amazing power. It enables soft plants to move and break rock and dirt many times heavier.1,2,3 Mushrooms have even been documented breaking up through the concrete of a road.

The power of God can be seen here through the delicately yet complexly wrought process by which a tiny plant shoot can pierce rock and concrete. Only through the power of God is this process maintained as the key verse pointed out. Though science explains how this process works, it is God's power that maintains it. For all life is maintained by God's own power. All life lasts only as long as he allows. The grass withers, the flower fades, because the wind of the Lord blows upon it Isaiah 40:7 (paraphrased).

Will you ever again doubt that God is able to do what he promises? Whenever you walk out-of-doors and see the grass, or indoors and see a potted plant, you will be reminded of the power given to it as a small seedling. If God is able to care for the grass, is he not able to care for you (Matthew 6:30)? God’s power goes beyond our imagination. And he wants to use it for our benefit. All that we must do is ask. “Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” Ephesians 3:20 NHEB.


What is your favorite kind of plant? What will this remind you of now?

What other examples does the Bible give of God’s power?

Why do we often fail to see God’s power in our own life?

What do we do when we ask God for something within his capability yet do not receive?


1. Michael W. Davidson. (1995). Plant Cell Vacuoles. Molecular Expressions. Retrieved January 9, 2018, from

2. "imbibition." A Dictionary of Biology. Retrieved January 9, 2018 from

3. Mary Osborne. (September 21, 2017). How Does a Bean Seed Grow? Retrieved January 9, 2018 from

Written by David F. Garner

Photo Credit: TambiraPhotography via