Faith as small as a mustard seed can supposedly do quite the miraculous line-up of things.
Toss mulberry trees and mountains around.
Send demons scurrying for cover.
Heal broken bodies and hearts.
Luke 17:5-6 says:
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
For a long time I would read verses like these ones in Luke and think, “Oh Lord, how small my faith must be! I can’t even claim faith as big as a mustard seed because there’s no way I could move a mulberry bush, and for sure not a mountain.” (As Matthew 17 says.)
And after years and years of following Jesus, didn’t that seem a bit sad? Why couldn’t I get my faith-act together?
But eventually, over time, I learned that I was reading those verses wrong.
I was using a negative lens to look at something Jesus was saying with a positive slant.
“You don’t have to have a HUGE measure of faith,” it seems He was actually telling the disciples. “You just need the tiniest bit, the gentlest turn of your heart toward me, the shift of your focus to my face, a miniscule measure of trust in my will. Then you will do the impossible.”
So often we think in bigness. “Grow my faith!” like the apostles in Luke requested. We want to feel the greatness, the encompassing testimony of giant faith. We want to feel the solidness of making sweeping grand motions of belief and see God come through while we stand firm and tall.
And meanwhile, God so often thinks in shifts and tilts. Gentle correction. Whispers that move across our skin.
“Shift your faith, dear one. It doesn’t matter how small or how microscopic your faith is, just shift it toward me– tilt your face toward mine– take that fraction of a fraction of trust and put it right here, in my name, and the impossible will happen.”
“Faith the size of a mustard seed,” Jesus said. That’s all it takes.
Truthfully, that’s all I had, really, when it came to facing down infertility. Those first years that I wrote about in Pain Redeemed–when I was wallowing in heartache–all I could manage was a tiny shift, a tilt of my head toward the Son.
And impossible things have been born from that tiny, miniscule, microscopic shift. Ten years of impossible things.
And the latest, our new baby.
Barrenness being lifted and crashed into the sea, like the mulberry tree, like the crumbling mountain.
Friend, I don’t know what your mountain is– but I do know that Jesus is telling you in these verses that you have enough faith already, as long as it’s in Him. It only takes a shift of your focus, a tilt of your head.
It doesn’t take bigness. It doesn’t take grandness. You aren’t required to perform some great feat or build your faith to a certain standard first before He starts moving.
After all, He’s the one that does the miracle working anyway. He’s the power and the glory.
And you? You’re the one who gets to watch.
So let’s keep our eyes turned toward Him. Every day. Shifting more and more til we’re turned fully and staring at His face.
So we don’t miss the mountains falling.
So we don’t miss the mulberry trees, the brokenness, the barrenness– as they drift away on the waves of the sea.
So we don’t miss Him.