Saturday, October 05, 2013

"Moving Mountains and Mulberry Trees"

The Lord replied, "If you have the faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you."

Okay, Lord. Only…um…why would I want to move a mulberry tree? Or a mountain? 

This passage, and the similar ones in the synoptics, have always left me a tad bemused. I mean, hey, moving a mountain or a huge tree would impress my friends, but other than that…what's the point?

The point? Jesus wasn't given to doing parlor tricks.

His miracles, much to King Herod's dismay, weren't for entertainment purposes. 

Wait. Parenthetical comment coming up here.

(Okay, maybe one was. That rather playful miracle he did for Peter about that pesky temple tax and the fish with the coin in its mouth, which always cracked me up. See Matthew 17:24-27, and let's end the parenthetical comment.)

Anyway…what's your mountain? Or your mulberry tree?

Both are huge. Both can be obstacles. Neither are insurmountable. If you have faith.

A mountain can get in our way, big time. So can a huge tree. What do we do? Sit down and cry, wishing it would go away? Well, we can, of course. But would it do any good?

Nah. But while wishing isn't all that effective, faith really is.

If we have faith—trust—in God Who loves us, the mountain or tree might not go away, but the obstacles it places in your path sure as bleep will.

Which is the exact same thing as moving it…or dumping it into the sea. Because if a mountain or a tree, or a job loss, or a loss of a loved one, or sickness, or hunger, or a messed up relationship, or anything horrible you or I have experienced, or will experience—if we allow any of these things to defeat us…to make us throw in the ol' towel? Then we're the losers. The mountain or tree wins. Not a good move.

A good move is to move ourselves away from the mountain and/or tree. Because that's equal to moving them.

And the only way to do that? Faith. Trust in God. Faith that, no matter what mountains or trees, or seemingly insurmountable obstacles standing in our way are just so much nothingness when compared to what our God can do for us. If we trust Him. If we have faith in Him. If, like a little kid who truly believes that, no matter how much his skinned knee, or her terrible illness, hurts like hell right now, Mom or Dad really can do something to make it better. And if Mom or Dad can, how much more can our Heavenly Father?

So let's move it!

The only way to get though this exile unscathed and unblemished lies in faith in our God. Our faith in His everlasting Love, and in His splendid plan for you and for me.

Believe in Him. Trust in Him. Know that the bad stuff is fleeting and the good stuff is eternal.

And eternity is a really long, long time. Think about that the next time you run into a mountain or a mulberry tree.

It'll more than likely move…right before your very eyes!

May God continue to bless you.