How much faith do you have? How much faith do you need? Jesus answers this question in Matthew 17:20. He tells the disciples faith as small as the size of a mustard seed has the power to move mountains, and with it, nothing will be impossible for them. Skeptical? You are not alone. There was a time in my own life when this verse was brought to my mind and I prayed, but my prayer remained unanswered. I wondered, for many years, how a person acquired more faith, since I failed to have enough. Years passed, then my life collided with God’s truth and I saw faith, not just mine, and the impact it has had on my life.
My mother is a great story-teller and she delights in sharing her life experience with a colicky baby. Yes, that baby was me! She decided to go to work in the mill where my father worked second shift. She always states the obvious….. to get away from me to keep her sanity. She left my brother along with myself in the care of my father’s sister who had two boys at the time. This worked out well, until, my aunt’s third child was due.
My mother found another sitter, but as the story goes, I cried until I made myself sick and the sitter called my mother at work and asked her to come and get me. My mother then asked her neighbor to keep us, since her husband also worked a second shift, the time would work together perfectly. Once again, my mother had to leave work to take me home. She accepted defeat and was ready to quit her job, but then her other neighbor came to her and asked if she could try watching us. My mother said no. This lady was in her sixties and my mother didn’t think she could handle me, especially with my brother. The lady wouldn’t take no for an answer, so my mother agreed to let her try. She was a God send, my mother says. She didn’t know how she did it, but she was able to soothe me. She kept the two of us, and my mother continued to work.
That lady became a surrogate grandmother to me. My father’s mother passed away before my parents married, and my mother’s mother passed away when I was six years old. I was as close to my Ma Hamby, which is what we called her, as any child could be to their grandmother. She treated me like a little lady from the beginning. She made me sit with her on the couch every night and read the Bible. She made sure I went to vacation Bible School, although she was way past attending herself. She loved me unconditionally. Although I didn’t know it, she paved the path to my own faith. She planted the seed and watered it for sure. What does crazy faith look like? A sixty-five year old woman approaching a mother with a colicky baby and asking to baby sit for her!
I recall a time when I was around nine or ten years old and I was riding my bicycle in Ma Hamby’s driveway, when I heard a soft, gentle voice say to me, God loves you! I didn’t hear it audibly, but I heard it in my heart where it matters most. I believed it! I knew at that moment, I didn’t have to do anything to be big or to impress God. He loved me when I was just being a kid on my bike. What does crazy faith look like? A child being a child and hearing the voice of God and believing in His love.
A pounding on our front door awakened us. I was out of school on Christmas break and my parents were off from work until after the Holidays. I raised my sleepy head, realizing it was early in the morning, I thought my father had locked himself out of the house. I heard voices and my curiosity caused me to raise my head. I realized it wasn’t my father, but I couldn’t hear what was being said. I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, but my mother darted in my room and told me to get up and get ready. She informed me, we had to go to the hospital because my father had been in an automobile accident.
That prayer, the one I mentioned earlier regarding faith the size of a mustard seed, the one that wasn’t answered. Well here is where I prayed that prayer. My mother, brother and myself piled into my father’s small pickup truck and turned out of our driveway toward the hospital. That verse came to me! It was the Holy Spirit no doubt. That nightly Bible reading with Ma Hamby, who was now deceased, planted God’s word in my heart. I don’t even remember learning or memorizing that verse, but there it was dangling out there for me to ignore or to act. I acted of course and prayed to God reminding Him, it only took faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains, to please make my father be okay. That’s it. A simple prayer and then I announced out loud everything was okay. I wasn’t the least bit concerned. Why? Maybe it was because I was only fourteen at the time. Maybe it was because I believed God would answer my prayer. I’m not even sure now, but I know my heart sank once we topped the hill where the accident had taken place and I saw the firetrucks, the ambulances, the state troopers, the flashing of the red and blue lights, and people lined along side the highway. What does crazy faith look like? A young girl prays for her father to be okay.
We never made it to the hospital. There was no need. My father died instantly in that wreck. Faith? I thought I didn’t have any. I somehow got the idea because my father died, my faith couldn’t move mountains, it couldn’t even make my father okay! Confused? You bet I was. Angry? Yes, but I turned my anger inward. For the next several years or more, I thought everything was my fault. I still prayed, because I wasn’t angry with God. I thought He must be angry with me. It took me way too many years to understand that fourteen year old girl in that truck that day wasn’t crazy when she prayed. She had crazy faith! My prayer was answered, just not the way I wanted it to be. God wanted me to trust Him during the upcoming turbulent years, and there were many trials and mountains to move from my heart. I see it so clearly now, but I couldn’t see it when God was carrying me.
I hope the readers of this will be encouraged. Many of you may be able to relate if you have ever had unanswered prayers. You may think God has neglected you or is angry with you, but I encourage you to get in God’s word and find out the truth. It is important to grow in your faith, so you can understand God’s word and His love for you. God does not confuse us. He wants us to know He is good and can be trusted with our lives. He desires a relationship with all and loves all of us unconditionally. He answers our prayers, but not always the way we want Him too. Sometimes, it’s no. Other times it’s yes, and sometimes, it’s wait. My prayer for all of you is that you give your life to Jesus Christ by admitting you have sin in your life and you are in need of a savior and then ask Jesus to come into your life, and then tell someone. If you already know Jesus as your savior, then I pray you will get in His word and study it, pray it so your relationship with Christ will grow. I pray you will find your crazy faith and tell us about it. God Bless.