She was five, maybe six years old, when she said this. And I knew at that moment that there is a childlike interpretation of Scripture that is often closer to the right meaning than that of any grizzled old theologian.
“Mommy, how big is a mustard seed?”
“It’s one of the littlest seeds, love.”
“(pause)We must have really REALLY little faith, then, because we can’t even move a mountain!”
In our arrogance, we who can’t move mountains yet certainly can twist steel and build 100 story mountains…we who can’t tell a mountain to go into the sea but with a small push of a lever can blast holes through those mountains…we in our arrogance say, “a mustard seed! Ha! That’s all the faith we have to have!” as if that drop of water is nothing compared to the ocean of faith WE think WE have. And we boast of our “mustard seed” faith and claim in the name of Jesus things that probably not even Mary the Mother of Jesus thought to claim, and somehow we think we are already fitting into that definition and say “we only need a mustard size seed of faith to do great things!” , forgetting that what He defined could be done with mustard seed faith, we are unable to do.
This is encouraging to me. I already knew I was “little faith”. I just didn’t realize that so was everyone else.
If Jesus’ definition of mustard seed faith is the ability to move a mountain into the sea, I am in a very good place when daily I whisper to Him, “O Lord, help my unbelief. Forgive me for my lack of faith and give me more please, Lord – not the giant level of a mustard seed moving mountains faith, but the tiniest grain of sand plodding faith.” It’s hard to believe that this could be pleasing to Him, but each day that I do my daily duties without a speck of good feelings or a tiny bit of something to show for it following behind them, I am truly walking by faith. I think.
Where did we get this idea that we can do anything for Him, the King of Kings and Creator of all? He doesn’t need our “help”. I will not be surprised at all if when I get to heaven I spend at least a thousand years laughing at all my ways I thought I was “helping” God and walking “by faith”.
Faith is clinging, not doing. Faith is asking, not telling. Faith is plodding, not flying.
Lydia now, at 12 years old, and best friend Gracie. Gracie’s family are with Wycliffe. Grace’s father Kevin, was career military – Retired about 7 years ago and moved here to JAARS – he works with the military in recruitment – who better than ex-military to move all over the place doing Bible translation? Their family had us over for dinner when we stopped by here on furlough a few years ago, when they didn’t even know us – Lydia had met Grace just once and talked talked talked about her…and then when we suddenly “reappeared” a year ago Feb., unexpectedly, to live here, they had us over, pulled up two rocking chairs, said “sit and tell us everything”, and then listened. Dear friends…