I haven’t published anything on here in the last six months, it’s a little bit me being lazy, and a little bit feeling like the world doesn’t need one more thing to read, one more voice, and a little bit feeling like I’m awful at writing. But I gave myself a timeline of the end of October to either publish something or delete my blog, and so even though I don’t know the answer to those questions, I am going to try and write!
I have about 6 unfinished writings from the summer, this one I had only gotten so far as putting a passage of scripture at the top, but it’s as sharp to my soul today as it was in June.
He said to them, For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20
is it just me or is Jesus setting the bar pretty low here?
Yep. Yep He is. I want to be offended and scoff a bit here, because obviously my faith is HUGE!!!! Much more like a whole, entire, watermelon, really.
BWAHAHAHHAA! My faith isn’t even approaching mustard seed size on a lot of days. So my response is actually more like HALLELUJAH! Maybe I can pull actually pull this off!
You might think “wow! Can someone who has been following Christ for half her life struggle to produce even the smallest ounce of faith at this point in her journey? That’s pretty bad!”
But it’s pretty easy actually. It’s called not getting what I want.
Jesus talks about seeds and trees and mountains an awful lot, but I think faith, at least my real life experience of it, is more like a balloon. A little less like a force to be reckoned with and a little more like something that pops under pressure.
The Lord God grants and arranges and speaks, and when I look behind me at His workings in my life I can see these huge sweeping movements of grace, movements made up of individual conversations and moments and thoughts and interventions – all forceful breaths into my balloon. With each provision, each time he gives me the very desires of my heart, my balloon is fuller and fuller and floats higher and higher. It’s quite impressive, really.
But then, something doesn’t go right. I don’t get my way. And that balloon POPS! With the startling noise all the goodness and faithfulness and promises of my God are just absolutely lost on me. Forgotten, as if they never existed. How can I possibly think about moving mountains when this is what my life looks like!
And I question and panic and I doubt and I am so ashamed to say I shake my fist at God.
When there is still pain, still struggle, still a long. way. to. go. we forget the promise, forget the Giver, just like the Isrealites.
Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
When the path takes a sharp turn, when what we have built our lives upon now looks vastly different, we forget the promises, we forget the Giver, just like Peter.
Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see youin the garden with him?” Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.
There have been a lot of POPS! happening, and each and every time I find myself startled, and subsequently wandering around my living room, looking for the invisible bits of God that have vanished into thin air, but all I can salvage to hang on to are bits of torn latex.
That, my friends, is why Jesus does not say faith is like a balloon. Balloons POP! but the Holy Spirit does not. The Word of God does not. God himself does not.
HALLELUJAH! Maybe I can pull actually pull this off!
The bubble may burst. Alright, the bubble WILL burst. The diagnosis may come and the healing may be withheld. The path may wind and go on for far longer than I originally signed up for. The seat may be at the very end of the table and it sometimes sucks down there. The scenery and plot line are not what I wanted or planned on. They just aren’t. And they rock my world in the worst way possible.
But the LORD who led his people out of Egypt, led them also out of the wilderness, and into the Promised Land.
And the Jesus who was best friends with Peter before the crucifixion, meets him again to cook him a nice fish breakfast on the other side of it all.
He approaches the girl who doubted and forgot, and in my empty hand places the seed, again. It’s soooo tiny! But it’s chock full of remembrance of good deeds, good promises and good hope and good power to go move that mountain.