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  • "A Musing Pastor"

That Ain't Much Faith!

Ever feel helpless? I have. I have met challenges that caused me to doubt me. I have struggled to succeed. I have failed. I have never quit. I never will. Why? Am I crazy? Not that I am aware. Do I suffer from some sort of need to achieve? I don't think so....well, maybe. Am I a brute for punishment? Nope.

I have heard too many people tell me that I couldn't do so many things in my life. If I had listened to those voices and resigned myself to failure or having never tried. I would never have known the unfathomable joys of life. I might have thought twice about following the Lord and most certainly would not be willing to attempt any task. Why try if I'm only going to fail? It must be terrible to think you'll fail at a task before you even try. What drives me? Better question would be, "Who drives me?"

Faith (the what) is what keeps me going and what fuels my furnace. I believe God (the who) is with me everyday and won't ever depart from me. I see that promise in scripture and I internalize that hope deep down in my heart and into every part of my brain. The funny part about faith....about my faith is in the size of it. I wished my faith was comparable to Billy Graham or Mother Theresa. I wish I could sense God's presence like Henri Nouwen or Max Lucado. Instead, God has given me my faith and most days, to me, it feels smaller than the two mustard seeds shown in the photo.

(Two Yellow Mustard Seeds)

Then I'm reminded of the wavering faith of Jesus' disciples and I don't feel so bad. In fact, I feel energized. A father had brought his son to the disciples for healing and they couldn't seem to have success. Take a look.

"I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. 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 17:16-20, NIV)

When Jesus instructed the disciples to have faith (Faith actually means "to believe) he was revealing the size of faith required to step forward and try. I have found the times when my faith was present, even in it's smallest form, God was waiting in the wings to show up and show off His glory. I have also sensed the hesitance of God to intervene when I felt a moment of cowardice and stepped back from an opportunity to glorify God.

There have been times when I felt as though I had "left Jesus down" because I was unwilling to risk in certain situations. I hated that feeling. It is true, I was never designed to "hold Jesus up" but the point remains that Jesus has called you and me to take up our crosses and follow him. Sometimes that requires us to step into situations with few or no facts. We obey because we believe (have faith) that God has already gone ahead of us to prepare our way, to supply our needs, and to help us when we approach a rough spot.

What fuels your tank? Oops, I meant to say, "Who fuels your tank? God (the who) wants to fill us with faith (the what) and He wants us to risk and do things that have eternal significance. Fact of the matter is that we can't do the latter without the former. The writer of Hebrews made that known in the following:

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Hebrews 11:6, NIV)

Don't fret if you sense your faith is the size of the mustard seeds in the photo.

It will be big enough!

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