We all struggle in our faith,
whether we're honest about it or not.
Truly I tell you, 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 17:20b
Oh hey. You still here?
I know, I know, these last few posts have seemed more like a “How to Read Your Bible” course than a fun, faith-filled blog. Thanks for sticking it out while we’ve worked through the nitty gritty parts of this verse, trying to keep true to the text. But now that we’ve done all that hard work, we can build on that strong foundation. So, let me encourage your heart today. I want to help you apply these words and grow in your faith.
Faith is a tricky thing.
At least I feel like it is. It’s a thing only you can know about yourself. Only you can really diagnose how your faith is doing. Yes, there may be fruit that you see in another person’s life, and that might lead you to believe their faith is strong. But, we adult humans are really good at putting on a good face, aren’t we? We like to hide what’s going on under the surface and pretend like we have it all together. We manufacture smiles and give plastic pre-processed answers to fool people into thinking that everything is really ok.
So, let’s get honest for a hot second.
I want you to really diagnose how your faith is doing right now—not last year, or back when you first became a Christian. I’ll start, so you can know this is a safe place. I’m a pastor’s wife. I co-founded Dwell. I’ve been a Christian for over 20 years now. Now, please don’t hear me bragging. In fact, to non-churchy types I sound like a real bore! Anyhow, the point is that you might be tempted to think (based on that pedigree) that I must have some mighty faith. Yeah, no. I don’t. The truth is, I have my own faith struggles. So, don’t believe the hype. The enemy still attacks me at my weakest points. Evil in the world still overwhelms me. I’m painfully aware of my own sin and shortcomings. My faith is often genuinely microscopic, especially during these shifty times. I feel blown about as I wonder, “What are my kids doing in the fall? Are we going to have to lock down again? Will I ever find a quiet moment again? Is our church going to be okay? When can I hug my people again? God, why is all of this happening?” All of these crazy circumstances can just whittle my faith down to nothing. I would love to say that I am a bulwark of the faith, a strong tower. But, I’m just not. I am more of a feather or a flea right now. What about you? How are you doing?
So, what am I doing with my tiny faith?
Since I pulled back the curtain on my doubts, I will gladly tell you what I do with them. When that mountain looms large over me, when my “Why God?” questions get stuck on repeat (which feels like every day right now), I run to my safe place. I run to my Jesus. I may not be a strong tower, but he is. So, I cry out with the psalmist, “Preserve me oh God, for in you I find refuge!” (Psalm 16) He hears me and answers. I’ve learned that he alone is safe enough to receive my cries and big enough to move those mountains and put my heart at ease. He knows my tiny faith, but he doesn’t shame me. Instead, he tells me to trust him with it. So, I put my tiny mustard seed in his strong, calloused hands. And when I do that, when I put my tiny faith in him, he does the impossible with it.
He makes it grow.