the tragedy of having little faith

If Jesus appeared in front of you right now – if he walked into your home – what would you say to him? What would he say to you?

Sometimes, when I’m tempted to take the wrong path, I think about this. I think, but what if he shows up right now? Often, it’s enough to get me back on track.

The Christian life is like walking uphill. You first look at it and think: No problem. Piece of cake. Then you start your journey and your legs begin to burn, but you press on. After awhile, you begin to get tired, but it’s ok because you know that Jesus is there. Then the hill feels steeper. You trudge on even though your legs are shaky because you know that Jesus is with you – you think, I can do this!

Later, you begin to realize that the hill is actually a mountain, and you sit down to rest. Though you’ve been at it for awhile, the goal is to reach the top. So you’ll keep going because . . . Jesus. He’s there somewhere.

We all face life-draining challenges. I’ve been in one of those for the past eight years and it’s exhausting. As I age and get further along in my journey with Christ, I’ve come to realize two things:

  1. It’s not getting any easier.
  2. It’s not supposed to.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. The view along the way to the top is absolutely incredible. I’ve seen Jesus do amazing things and there’s no greater sight to behold. My journals are full of stories of God’s grace, provision and miraculous interventions. The cover of the journal I’m writing in now has only three words on it, but they’re full of meaning:

Jesus’ disciples experienced the climb too. Matthew 17:1-20 tells the story of the time he took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain. They’d been with him awhile and there they’d see him in a whole new way. It’s a great story. You should read it.

Afterward, they descended and found people crowded around a family in crisis and the other disciples. The father had brought his demon-possessed son to them for healing, but they failed. Jesus cast out the demon and later, when they were in private, the disciples asked him, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

I imagine that at this moment they felt exhausted and insignificant — maybe even a bit defeated. After all they’d been traveling with Jesus for awhile and had seen, done, and experienced amazing things. But I bet they wondered why they were powerless.

Jesus answered their question. He said, Because you have so little faith. 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.”

Let me repeat the end of the scripture: “Nothing will be impossible for you.”

What Jesus said in that moment must have renewed their hope and given them energy to keep climbing. They were literally following the master of mountain moving and so are we.

It would have been tragic if Jesus hadn’t appeared on the scene. The disciples wouldn’t have discovered the nature of their problem and if the family had walked away in the same condition, they all would have missed out on seeing the glory of God. We can see him at work when we’re on top of the mountain and at the bottom.

People are desperate for hope right now. Many are searching for answers in the midst of tragedy and will look to Jesus and his followers for help. They will need our prayers, our encouragement and especially our faith. They will experience him working through us and there is no better time for us to stay focused, increase our faith, and bring them to Christ for healing.

What about you: Will you move some mountains with me?

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Hello new friend, thanks for stopping by my blog! Eleven years ago I left my hometown and job in Christian ministry and ran away to live on an island in the southeast. I followed God on a crazy adventure and want to share what I've learned with you. I'm the author of Made for More: Mobilizing Your Faith for Everyday Mission. I hope you like what you read and are inspired to walk with Jesus on your own adventure.

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