Saturday, August 9, 2008

Mustard-Sized Faith

Today's readings are centered on faith. In the Gospel, Christ reprimanded the apostles for lack of faith. And then he went on to say that if they had faith the size of a mustard seed, they could move a mountain. This is of course symbolic language but if you ponder on that line there is so much power in it. Have you seen a mustard seed? I haven't actually seen a real one except for the picture above. Now I'm convinced how tiny that seed is. Look at the size of that seed and from that seed will grow a huge shrub when planted and properly cared for. I'm asking myself the question: "How is it possible that little faith can move mountains?" It seems so unthinkable and yet the Lord only asks us to come up with a mustard-sized faith. There must be something in it that goes beyond size. It must be faith itself that makes all things possible.

But I'm a man of little faith. I still struggle with overcoming "mountains" in my life - most notably my SSA struggle and chastity issues. Can faith help me overcome these problems? I want to think it can but certainly not by my own strength or power. God can certainly work miracles in my life but he is looking and waiting for my faith response. Oh, good Lord increase my faith coz I have so many mountains to move and I want to move on with my life. Why is it so hard to muster a faith as tiny as a mustard seed? If the apostles who were with you every day lacked in their faith, what would become of me then?

Meditation from The Anawim Way:

Today's readings teach us about faith, faith as power and faith as patience. God can work through us to overcome the obstacles to his life within us. The "mountain" represents impossible problems. We can't overcome them by ourselves, but with faith we can. Faith gives us power, patience, and perseverance.

The just man lives by faith. If we are living by faith - even when we see or are experiencing problems - we can persevere, knowing that God is in charge and he will work in his own time. Faith endures even in the face of severe problems, even in the face of death itself. So faith gives us power on one hand, but when there is no evidence of power, faith gives us patience.

I need to have great trust in the Lord if I am going to follow him in the way he wants to lead me. I must keep him ever in mind, focusing on his presence, his power, his person. When my focus is on myself, doubts and fears enter, my faith shrinks, and I cannot act. The Lord desires to transform me and lead me from useless trust in myself to total trust in him. When I place even a "mustard seed" of faith in his hands, his power will act in me to move any mountain-sized problem I face. Then I can be a haven and a light for others. In him nothing is impossible!

Jesus told them. "I assure you, even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, `Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." ~ Matthew 17:20 (New Living Translation)

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