When Your Faith Feels Small

Some days I wake up and the mountains seem daunting, massive, immovable. I can’t see a way past them or around them. Their cragged edges consume my view. It feels as though these harsh mountains are all I’ve ever see. Do you ever feel like that? Maybe you are feeling that now, even as you read this.

Do you remember the movie Patch Adams? There’s a quote in the movie that I absolutely love. When Patch was a patient at the mental hospital he met another patient named Arthur, who held up his fingers and asked Patch how many he was holding up. Patch kept getting it wrong, until finally Arthur said, ” You’re focusing on the problem. If you focus on the problem, you can’t see the solution.” Such brilliant words. So what do we do when our problems are immovable mountains?


I was going through my jewelry box the other day — mostly because one of my kids had accidentally knocked it over and it was a huge mess — and found a pin that I had forgotten about. The pin contains a mustard seed. In Matthew 17:20 Jesus said “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.” Do you know how small a mustard seed is? Well, I did a little research on the mustard seed, because that’s what I do, and I found some very interesting facts about this tiny seed.

Mustard seeds usually measure 1 to 2 millimeters. Tiny. BUT, in the United States, some varieties grow to be 1 to 6 feet tall! I read that in Israel there are even some wild mustard plants along the Jordan River that are over 10 feet tall!! There are few plants that grow as large in one season as a mustard and they can germinate fairly quickly. Once they produce seed, mustard seeds can spread rapidly. Mustard oil is used for medicinal purposes, as well as what we think of as mustard. Mustard plants will grow in most soils, but will produce the most rich seed in rich, well-drained, and well-prepared soil. Does any of this sound familiar? Mean anything to you?

When I was reading about mustard plants I began to see why Jesus may have used this plant as an illustration. So much seed, harvest, and growth comes from just a tiny seed, or from just a tiny bit of faith. Like the mustard seed, faith can grow in most hearts, (soils), but will be richest when grown in rich, well-drained, and well-prepared hearts. When our hearts are readied and tended by Him, our faith can grow and seed, rapidly spreading out from ourselves and could maybe even be medicinal to those around us.

With even the tiniest bit of faith in Him, nothing will be impossible. On days when my faith only seems as big as a tiny mustard seed, it doesn’t always feel possible to keep moving, but with what little faith we have in those moments, we can move the immovable mountains before us and come out victorious because He is helping us to move those mountains. And if we’re honest, He’s doing most of the work anyway, He just wants us to believe in Him and tell that mountain to get out of our way.

 

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