“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
– Matthew 17:20 (NLT)
Have you ever seen or held a mustard seed? It is tiny and weightless in your hand. In fact, it was probably one of the tiniest objects known to the disciples, whom Jesus is addressing with these words. If only they had this little bit of faith, they could do the seemingly impossible and command a mountain to move.
Too often we hear the platitude in this verse and miss the message. Yes, Jesus is saying that faith is immeasurably powerful and can make the impossible possible. But note that Jesus says this in response to the disciples asking why they cannot drive out demons in His name. They are trying to do His will but lack the faith to do it. We often say we have faith but then put it in the context of our own abilities and desires rather than His will for our life. But often His will is different from ours and we just need to trust that He has a plan. And that is where faith can move mountains. It’s easy to have faith when life is going the way we want it to and we feel like God is hearing our prayers. But it’s harder when life gets tough: when you lose your job, your marriage is struggling, you feel lost, etc. Often that is when we question God or ignore Him altogether. But it’s in these moments too that God tells us to have faith and trust His will. It’s in these moments that faith can move the mountain. Remember, all it takes is faith the size of a mustard seed.
Lord, thank you for the many blessings you bestow on us each day. In times of joy and thanksgiving as well as in times of trouble and hardship, remind us of the mustard seed and give us the patience and resolve to seek Your will and spread Your word. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.