I grew up with little to no theology.
What I knew of church was limited and what I knew of God was even more so.
My earliest memories of church were of white stockings and rough lace (which seemed to come underneath every junior sized dress – the kind that scratched you and felt like mesh wire every time you walked). Unlike my older sister, I never enjoyed dressing up and putting on something like a straight jacket was the definition of misery.
I didn’t know much and when it came to being serious about my relationship with Christ, I became plagued with an ideology that perpetuated a “not yet there” mentality. So it came to no surprise then that I wrestled and meditated over Matthew 17:20 with much disappointment and frustration. In this passage, the disciples are bewildered to see their fruitless attempts in freeing a young boy from demon possession; they had ridden on the coat tails of Jesus’ miraculous works and seen the amazing deeds performed by him only to believe that they could achieve the same results.
Like a bullet proof formula or some type of incantation you can use at your disposal, there was something disturbingly wrong with the way these disciples approached their faith. In their embarrassment and humiliation, the men privately ask Jesus why they were unable to cast this demon out. Jesus replies in a way that stung my young heart:
Because of your little faith. For truly I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.’
Of course I came to interpret it in a way where I thought my faith was simply not good enough. Perhaps there was too much doubt and the doubt that existed overthrew the little faith that I had. Maybe there was 40% faith and 60% doubt and based on that calculation alone, I was nowhere near where I had to be.
And then I realized (after years of incorrectly interpreting the Word) what it all meant.
My faith is little — it is young, growing, immature and still naive. It is not a testament to having no faith, which I condemned myself for in years past. God can do wonders with a tiny sliver of pure faith (hence the mustard seed reference) and has never ever in the history of humanity required someone to be “already there.” My little faith allowed me to believe that God needed me at a certain point in order to use me. This thought could not be further from the truth and yet, I lived most of my life defeated and dejected.
My faith is only at its beginning stages and despite the lack of knowledge and firm maturity that comes with time and life experience, God is so gracious and so good to those growing in faith.
I can rest knowing that even a glimpse of pure and obedient faith can shake the depths of the earth. No faith is too small for our mighty God. May my faith deepen in thought and prayer so that its big-ness comes not from size, but by its rock solid foundation in knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
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