They say faith can move mountains. Can just pick them right up and toss them right into the sea.
I love this. I mean, I’m not sure why anyone would want to do that with an actual mountain, but I think the imagery of our problems being mountains is appropriate, don’t you? Especially when you consider the fact that we already sort of do see our problems as huge, whether they are or not.
And really? Faith – this thing we’re told we only need a bit of, the size of a little bitty mustard seed – this seed can pick up that insurmountable problem and toss it high and far and far away? Right into the sea to be swallowed up and disappear forever?
Definitely a miracle.
And I do hear, sometimes and on occasion, of this happening.
Quick and in a moment.
Lightening-flash-miracles are awesome like that, moving mountains in the blink of an eye.
Or so I’ve heard.
My mountains don’t really move like that. And though I wholeheartedly agree that faith can move them, it seems that faith takes its time in my case.
A shovelful of mountain gets dug up and dragged to the sea. Then another. Then another. Then maybe half-a-shovelful. And sometimes it’s more like a teaspoon of mountain that gets moved.
I’d love it if the whole shebang could be uprooted all at once and tossed right there in the sea where it belongs. A backhoe might help.
These are amazing, and these do happen – even now and even today you find the stories, if you look for them. And I’m grateful for the stories and the miracles. I love to be amazed and I love it when God shows off.
But my mountains have never moved like this. Not once, I don’t think. This does not mean that I’ve experienced no miracles at all.
Life itself is a miracle.
Mamas set aside nine months to carry them.
The Shepherd sets a table and a place for them to rest.
Sun rising this morning and setting this evening, only begin again tomorrow with the same to-do list, is a miracle.
The kid getting the part, getting the job, getting the grade, making the team, making the friend – us learning, always learning, some new way of being or some new way of seeing – these are miracles.
Slow miracles, maybe, but miracles nonetheless.
And really, sometimes it’s the slow miracle that’s the most amazing.
It’s grace, is what it is.
Help and hope and just what we need when we really need it. But this can only really be noticed in hindsight.
And this can only really be received by opening the hands and the heart and stepping out to take the chance to try or maybe just to trust.
Which just might be the hardest thing of all, especially if your mountain is an old one. And there are so many old mountains that need moving.
Dream of moving one of these and you just might think that dream’s just a bit too big for your plate. A God-sized dream, you might say, not one for mere mortals.
A radical dream, needing some radical grace.
But that mountain you want moved? Yeah, radical grace can do it.
Radical faith can do it.
Faith that makes you take the first step. Maybe the tiniest first step. A teaspoon-sized step.
And then maybe you take another – half-a-shovel’s worth, even.
Then maybe even a whole shovelful, or a even few. Though you might have to rest a bit between them.
Which is okay. Slow miracles are still miracles.
And this is, sometimes, how mountains really get moved.
tweetables:“In the face of everything, we slowly come through.” (~Anne Lamott)
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