I got up early and settled into my favorite spot on the couch with my Bible and a couple of my favorite devotional books at that time, which I think were Andrew Murray’s books on prayer. I read and prayed and then I got to a prayer request which I had been praying for close to a year with no results. Since I wasn’t sure I should continue to pray for this request or move onto something else, I said to God, “If this request isn’t part of your plan then just let me know and also let me know what I should be praying for instead.” I’m not sure what I expected, not much I don’t think. But, I heard that distinct little voice run clearly through my head, “O, ye of little faith.” Truthfully, it sounded a little exasperated, a little like a parent thinking, ‘Aren’t you ever going to get this?’ I can’t say I was real happy with that response. I wanted an answer, sure, but I wasn’t expecting that one. I liked to think I had some faith. A rather vague faith, I suppose, but isn’t that what we are taught? Faith is believing what isn’t there. That’s hard to do and so it’s easy to live with and expect a vague sort of faith. So I thought I had faith, but apparently a faith that needed much growing.
Then my automatic human defense mechanism kicked in, inherited no doubt from our great-great-great-great…………(I’m out of breath now)….great-grandfather, Adam. I said, “What?! But, but, but, if I don’t have enough faith than that’s your fault.” (A little like Adam who blamed Eve for his faults.) “After all you are the author and finisher of our faith, which means you complete the stuff in the middle too, so if I need more faith then I need you to give it to me because obviously I’m not doing so great on my own. Oh, and can I have a mustard seed of faith please, because a mustard seed is supposed to move mountains, well wait a minute, how about two mustard seeds for good measure? Never mind I’d like a bushel full of mustard seeds just to be sure I have enough. Actually never mind that, can you make it a barn full just to make sure I have enough?”
I imagine God rolling His eyes, shrugging His shoulders and thinking, “Kids! They’re all the same. Why do I put up with them?” For the same reason, I supposed that I still love Aspen and don’t kick her out of the house just because every night she uses every trick in her arsenal to stay up late.
God did not immediately give me a barn full of mustard seeds. This experience happened a little over two years ago. I still pray that prayer request. In fact, while I have your attention, I’m going to ask you to join me in prayer for that prayer request. In the last couple of years God has provided some faith building experiences. Nothing earth shattering, some of them fun, Before They Ask, some of them not so fun Danger Over The Hill. They seem small, but I will trust that God knows the best way to finish my faith. I do know that they build on other faith building experiences from the past.
Let’s look at the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 in Mark 6:30-44. The disciples wanted to send the people away so they could get themselves something to eat. It makes sense doesn’t it? They knew they didn’t have any food or money themselves to feed that many people. But, Jesus told them, “You give them something to eat.” He knew that with His help they could feed the people, but the disciples didn’t know that yet. They gave him what they had, five loaves and two fish. How paltry, it was truly nothing. Even broken into the smallest of pieces it wouldn’t have given a crumb to everyone there. But, when God works, no one goes away hungry. Jesus took the five loaves and two fishes and gave thanks for them. He gave thanks for them. I can’t say I’ve always given thanks for the little, I’m more likely to give thanks for the big and complain about the little. But, Jesus saw the big in the little and gave thanks for it. He acted on the faith God had given him. Then He gave out the little that he had and God multiplied it and not only did every one have a full stomach, no one had to do without. There were twelve baskets of left overs. God fed them so much they couldn’t eat it all. They had left overs to prove it really happened. He didn’t just leave them with the five loaves and two fishes they had started out with. No. They had more than they started out with. Why? Because that is how God works. You give Him everything you have, all five loaves and two fishes, enough apparently to feed the boy who had brought it with him, and he multiplies it by over 5000.
Stop to think about that for just a moment. When God asks you to do something, do you say, ‘Well i don’t have much to give, I don’t really have any talents like others do so no I don’t think I will do it.” Now picture giving God thanks for your tiny little talent and watching God multiply it by over 5000. I challenge you in this next year to let God live big faith in you this year.
But my God shall supply all you need according to the riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:19