“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.” (Mat. 17:20)
There’s nothing like good ol’ plain yellow mustard to bring out the true glory of a corndog – or anything wiener-based for that matter (although I tend to steer clear of such delicacies these days).
Mustard is actually pretty basic – it’s just ground up mustard seeds and water and vinegar. As I was memorizing this verse and preparing to write this post, though, I realized I’ve never actually seen a mustard seed.
So, of course, I Googled.
Man, are they ever tiny – about the size of a pinhead. I can’t even imagine how many mustard seeds would need to be ground up to make enough condimentage to douse a foot-long county fair corn dog. (At least the way I like to eat them.)
However, according to Jesus, we’re not talking about enough faith to coat a corndog – we’re talking about the power in a tiny mustard seed-sized amount of faith. (If I saw a mustard seed on my corn dog I would probably flick it off, thinking it fell off the guy working the deep fat fryer.)
Think about that for a moment. (The idea of faith as small as a mustard seed, not the thing that fell off the fryer guy.)
This is Jesus Himself talking, as reported by Matthew, an actual eyewitness. Matthew heard Jesus say that nothing will be impossible for him or any of the disciples if they have the tiniest amount of faith imaginable. And my take-away is that, like Matthew and Peter and John, if I, too, have even the tiniest amount of faith nothing will be impossible for me either. I have to believe that. Jesus never lied.
A pinhead’s worth – that’s all I need.
I just finished reading David Platt’s book “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream” and, at the end of the book, he challenges everyone reading it to a year-long experiment pursuing true Biblical discipleship: giving money to provide for those in need by not asking “How much can I spare?” but “How much will it take?” and spending a percentage of your time in another context, whether that’s sharing the gospel in another city or in another country – things like that.
And the whole time I’m reading it, the Holy Spirit is showing me the truth in what he’s saying. However, I find myself absolutely mirroring Dr. Platt’s own words in the first chapter of his book: “My biggest fear is that I will hear Jesus’ words and walk away, content to settle for less than radical obedience to Him.”
For the past several months, I’ve felt that God has been preparing me for something – something I can’t put my finger on yet, but that will take me to the next level in my walk as a follower of Jesus; something that will require that I choose between radical obedience to Him or “hear Jesus’ words and walk away, content to settle for less…”
Why the fear? Why is it so hard to muster up even a miniscule amount of faith? Why the struggle to abandon myself to God and trust whatever He has in store for me? He’s done His part. He’s proven time and again that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He said He would do. He’s never let me down nor given up on me – not once, not even when I was lost and running away from Him down that luxurious path straight to hell as hard as I could possibly run.
In my head I know that, as Pastor Crawford Loritts says, faith is freedom. When I trust God to make all the decisions, I’m free, no matter what happens – free from the responsibility, free from having to depend on myself and my pitiful bank balance to get by, free from worrying about what someone thinks when I try to share with them or otherwise openly express my faith.
All I need to do is move my faith from my head to my heart. A pinhead’s worth… that’s all I need.
A good friend once said, “Do I just ask God for more faith or do I ask him for opportunities to grow my faith?” Although God has certainly done things the easy way before, more often than not my experience has been that He provides opportunities for growth, sort of like my parents who had me work for my allowance rather than just giving it to me.
At the time, I didn’t really appreciate the life lesson, but looking back at it from the other side I see how it made me much more appreciative of whatever I spent that money on.
So something tells me I may be learning to totally and unquestioningly trust God the hard way. But this time, when I look back at it from the other side I will be looking at a life lived totally for Him without reservation instead of a new Hot Wheels car.
So stay tuned – and pray that I won’t be a pinhead when it comes to trusting God.