Jesus replied, . . .”I tell you the truth, 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.” Matthew 17: 20
I remember reading this verse as a child and it fascinated me – with phrases such as “moving mountains and faith as small as a seed.” It was completely beyond my understanding. Why would Jesus have used such an analogy? What image was He trying to plant in our minds and hearts?
Over time, His meaning became a bit more clear. Perhaps He is trying to tell us that God is greater than any of the problems we might face. Maybe He is trying to get us to focus our attention on God’s power rather than on our own limited resources. He wants us to understand that nothing is too hard for God – that He has the ability to do more than we could ever begin to imagine. And all we have to do is believe that He is who He says He is. That seems like such a small thing.
But it really isn’t, is it? We all have these “mountains” in our lives – those things that are so big that they fill our lives and the spaces in our hearts with so much anxiety and despair that we don’t have room for anything else. Perhaps it is our concern for a family member who is facing a challenging situation, or a health or financial problem of our own. We keep holding on to our fear and worry and the more we grasp onto them tighter and tighter, the less faith, strength, and peace we seem to have. If only we could let go and leave it in God’s hands, trusting Him to work it out as He sees best.
If only we could have more faith. But often when we go to God with our “mountains”, we don’t seem to be able to completely let go, to fully trust in Him. We want a measure of control in the situation, or when He doesn’t answer as quickly as we desire, or in the way we want, an attitude of uncertainty or doubt may enter our thoughts, and we pull back from Him. We want to trust God, but we have trouble trusting Him completely. This doubt makes our faith and strength weak as we face these uncertain situations.
But if we can only leave our concerns with Him, ask Him to do what we can’t do ourselves, and have total dependence upon Him, then finally we will be free to find peace and let go of our fear and anxiety. We can let go because we believe and know in our hearts that He will never let go of us. Ultimately, having that trust and faith in Him gives us the opportunity to look up – and find hope.
Confidence in Him always gives us the freedom to receive whatever God has to give us. However He answers our prayers, we can know that it is always God’s best for us, even if it isn’t what we had desired or hoped for. And sometimes, our amazing God has something even greater in mind for us than we had for ourselves. We need to believe that sometimes He will move our “mountain” totally out of the way, and sometimes He moves “mountains” inside of us by changing our hearts and giving us the strength and peace to accept or to see things differently.
Nothing is impossible with God. If we can believe in His love for us, we can find unimaginable power in Him. May our prayers be full of confidence and trust in Him.
Dear God, open our minds and hearts to trust in you more fully. Help us to let go of those things that worry us and take up so much space in our minds and hearts. Help us to believe that you want what is best for us and through you, all things are possible. Amen