Jesus said, “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.” Matthew 17: 20
How can that be true? My thoughts don’t physically have the power to move mountains. If that was true, people would be moving mountains from here to there all over the place, and no one would be able to keep it a secret. If that was true, why have I never heard of it before? Why have I never seen it with my own eyes?
Mountains are moving and it’s no secret.
Oh, but that is the whole point. People are moving mountains from here to there all over the place, but not from their own power. People are overcoming addictions after decades of being held prisoner, they are getting hired after long walks in the desert, they are finding families after long years of loneliness, they are giving their wealth away after clutching it to death their whole lives, they are stepping out of their shells into boldness and confidence for the first time.
People are changing despite the world telling them people don’t change.
Mountains are moving and it’s no secret. People are talking, and whispering, and amplifying, and writing, and tweeting, and blogging, and you-tubing, and Hollywood directing, and journaling, and dialing, and publishing, and tattooing, and bill-boarding it every moment of every day. Can you see it?
A mustard seed? I’ve never even seen a mustard seed. Is it weird that I’ve eaten mustard my whole life but I don’t even know where it comes from? I guess I don’t know mustard.
When a mustard seed is placed in the earth, it doesn’t stay in its little place and shoot up one stalk like most other plants. A mustard seed germinates, or shoots out and sprouts into new plants, immediately. It spreads quickly and fills all the space. It takes over. If the seed finds good soil, you’ll have quite a time removing it, if you succeed at all. And when it blooms, it covers the earth with soft yellow clusters of color. Golden paint spilled and sparkling on a canvas. I had no idea.
I don’t know mustard just like I don’t know God.
I’m in the garden (sometimes) and I’m planting seeds just so. I have a ruler in one hand, a seed packet in the other, and organic fertilizer and rain barrel water ready and waiting. It’s a whole thing. If someone ever stood over my shoulder and suggested, “You know, you really need some mustard seed in there too,” I would have said no. I don’t need mustard. Mustard isn’t in the plan.
Jesus was never in my plan either. I laughed at people who believed in Him.
If someone had insisted, “Not only do you really need mustard, but when you plant it, it will take over your whole garden,” I would have said absolutely not. Not my tomatoes. Not my basil. Not my okra. I have plans for those. I can’t make my family’s favorite dinner without fresh basil. I put salsa on everything. I like gumbo a lot. Mustard? I’ll buy some at the store if I need it.
If what they really meant was, “Not only do you really need Jesus, but if you let Him in, He’ll take over your whole life.” That would have freaked me out. Not my girls’ nights, not my sarcasm and witty banter, not my cigarettes on the porch every night, not my finances, not my friends, not my family. I depend on those. And certainly not my heart or my mind. Those are mine. But what I didn’t realize at the time was, “I don’t know mustard. Just like I don’t know God.”
God doesn’t take things away from us to bring us to more places of ruin. That is not who He is. He wants to free us from things that harm us and weigh us down. God knows the things we don’t tell anyone and Jesus doesn’t point to them to shame us. He points to them because that’s where He wants to enter, what He wants to heal first.
God knows if He can fix that one thing, that thing we can’t imagine could ever be any different, then we will trust Him to fix everything else that is broken. Because a mustard seed is different. And with faith the size of a mustard seed, nothing will be impossible for you.
Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener.” John 15:1
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:31-32