Mustard Seed Faith

July 9, 2017

Ever since I was a little girl, Matthew 17:19,20 presented itself as a mystery. ‘Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked ‘Why couldn’t we drive it (the demon) out?’ He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’ After learning of these verses, I would go to bed each night and as I pulled my blankets up around me, I would whisper ‘I have faith as big as a mustard seed. I’m going to make my door open back up.’ Or ‘I’m going to make that pencil move across my desk’. And I would pray. With all of my might and every bit of my young faith, I would believe that my door was going to fling open or that my pencil would roll across the desk. Every night as a young girl, I would fall to sleep disappointed; the mystery of these verses ringing loud in my mind.

One day, when I was around 10 years old, I was horrified that my dog had found a rabbit nest. Baby rabbits were running everywhere and my dog grabbed one of them and took off. I ran after him shouting ‘NO, BINGO! NO! NO! ’ and I finally rescued the small bunny from my dog. I took that tiny dying animal to the very back of my yard, behind the trees, and I began to pray. ‘God, I have faith. Bring this rabbit back to life. I prayed, I believed, I sang, I cried out to the Jesus of my childhood. I just knew that this little mammal would begin breathing and with a startle would jump out of my hands and back to his mama. I stayed out there for a very, very long time. My faith was much bigger than a mustard seed. I believed. When all of my words were gone and my tears had run dry, I buried that baby rabbit. He had the best baby rabbit funeral that you can imagine. Disappointed in the God that I had been taught about, I slowly made my way back to the house. I was defeated and confused. As an adult I look back at those young moments and smile. I was treating my Lord as if I believed hard enough, that He would give me some superpower. Much like the show ‘Bewitched’ or ‘Mary Poppins’ , I had a distorted view of God and I assumed that my Jesus would prove himself by making things fly across the room if I just believed hard enough.

As I grew up, those verses still occasionally haunted me. How could the disciples be reprimanded for having ‘little’ faith and then be told that they didn’t need much faith? I put those verses into the ‘Sometimes God doesn’t make sense’ part of my mind and I moved on. These past two Sundays, I was delighted to hear Pastor Dave not only preach about these verses, but also to explain them. Quality, not quantity. My mind is spinning as I think back to my lack of quality. Like a movie reel throwing itself backwards in time, going around so quickly that it eventually pulls itself off of the projector that it is attached to and flings itself against the wall - my memories, my thoughts, my core is shaken. I get it. Spending time with the Lord, having a relationship with Him – knowing His Word, His will, His thoughts. Hearing His voice – and having a quality faith – that is what He is asking from us. As one who generally follows the rules and finds safety in leadership, a daughter who willingly went to church and was always soaking in what people said… I had quantity stockpiled... but quality was lacking for a very long time. And so, Christ-followers, when the cabinets are bare. When the bank account is low. When the baby is sick. When you need unexpected surgery. When your spouse loses his job. When life falls apart – the quantity is not going to sustain. The small faith is not going to be enough. We need a deep well of quality faith – a deep well with a mustard seed of faith.

 

{For more on this topic, listen to Pastor Dave’s sermon from July 9, 2017}

 

 

 

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