…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.
Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 17:20b NIV)
Was Jesus exaggerating?
The context of this statement was a story of a boy with psycho-spiritual issues. The disciples were not able to heal the boy because, according to Jesus’ assessment, they did not have enough faith.
I’m like one of those disciples. I need God to increase my faith.
Faith ought to be the immediate set of spiritual lenses through which I must perceive and experience Final Reality. Faith also ought to be the ultimate set of spiritual lenses through which I must spiritually understand the dynamics and interactions of the Creator with the whole creation, including the whole of humanity. Through this understanding, I must act accordingly. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Hebrews 11:1-3)
Faith would be my capacity to transcend the limitations of reason, logic, and everything that are commonly perceived by my five senses. But it is not irrational or illogical. Faith is trans-rational and trans-logical; it also transcends my limited empirical approach to reality. When I learn to live by faith, I’d learn to expand the capacity of my humanity in harmony with the Creator and the whole of creation. When I learn to live by faith, I embrace the whole of my relationships. With the Creator. With my being. With others. With the whole of creation.
Faith brings harmony to all aspects of my life. Faith results to genuine shalom–genuine peace.
The story behind Jesus’ statement was not about me moving mountains. The statement was more about healing the other that would bring healing to my being. To live without faith is to live in disharmony. A life of disharmony needs healing–to become whole again. I am a faith-living human being. I’m not just a mountain-moving ‘human doing.’ Faith brings healing to my humanity.
“Living-by-faith” is usually mentioned when a person or an organization exists without guaranteed financial support. Living-by-faith is deeper than my common understanding that God will provide through unexpected circumstances and sources. The challenge of growing in my life of faith is not just about how to get provision from God. Living-by-faith is growing in my awareness of the presence of the Provider in my life–moment by moment, day by day. Since The Great Provider is with me, why worry about the provision?
Today, 05 January 2013, I’ll lead my team to deliver 2,500 family relief packs to the Mandaya people in Barangay Malibago, Cateel, Davao Oriental. There’s an urgent need to bring them food right now.
We’re facing a number of challenges:
- A low pressure area is developing at the eastern shore of Mindanao and it’s an extra challenge to bring food across a flooded river;
- There’s no road going there and the footpaths are muddy, so we’ll use carabaos, horses and all available indigenous transport means;
- There’s no cell phone signal and communications will only be through two-way radios and foot messengers;
- There are segments along the way when security is quite a concern.
God, give me faith even as small as a mustard seed.
Faith in God does intervene in the macro- and micro-dynamics of the universe.
Faith heals the hungry person. Faith heals the traumatized typhoon survivor. Faith heals the seemingly hopeless coconut farmer who has lost almost all of his coconut trees. Faith heals the mother whose child is still missing. Faith heals the father who just buried his son. Faith heals the psycho-social workers. Faith heals the relief workers. Faith heals the nurses. Faith heals the doctors. Faith heals the truck drivers. Faith heals the peacebuilder.
Faith heals me.
Jesus was not exaggerating.
Faith, indeed, can move mountains.
Healing is more significant than moving mountains.