They say faith can move mountains. Pick them up and toss them right into the sea.
I’m not sure why anyone would want to do that with an actual mountain, but I think the imagery is great for getting the point across, don’t you? The insurmountable problem, picked up easy enough to toss it high and far. The difference between a softball and a bowling ball, sort of. Tossed right into the sea to be swallowed up and disappear forever.
Or so they say.
My mountains don’t really move like this. Although I wholeheartedly agree that faith can move them, it seems that faith takes its time in my case. A shovelful of mountain gets wrestled from where it’s planted, dragged to the sea. Then another. Then another. They don’t get tossed so much as wearily tipped out and washed away. And honestly, sometimes it’s more like a teaspoon of mountain that gets moved.
I’d love it if the whole shebang could be uprooted, picked up, tossed right there in the sea where it belongs. Or at least if I could move it faster. A backhoe might help.
The flash of insight and instant conversion of heart. Cleansing of the leper after a few quick dips in the river Jordan. Miraculous healing half-a-heartbeat after prayer is spoken.
These are amazing, and these do happen – even now and even today the stories are there, if you look. 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 this way. Never once have I experienced a miracle-in-the-blink-of-an-eye. This does not mean that I’ve experienced no miracles at all.
Life itself is a miracle.
Mamas carry them inside their bodies for three-quarters of a year and then inside their hearts for a lifetime. Fathers set the self aside to set an example. Shepherd sets a table and a place to rest.
Sun rising this morning and setting this evening, only to rise again and set again and do the same again and again and again, is a miracle. Kids getting the part, getting the job, getting the grade, making the team, making the friend and us learning, always learning, some new way of being or some new way of seeing – miracles.
Slow miracles. And truly, sometimes it’s the slowness of the miracle that makes it amazing.
Grace, really. It’s all grace. Grace given just when we need for just what we need, but this can only really be seen when we stand in the distance and look back.
And this can only really be received by opening the hands and the heart and stepping out to take the chance. Which just might be the hardest thing of all because this mountain of doubt is an old one. Entrenched. Firmly rooted. Whispered in the ear by the critics, by the enemy, and yeah if truth be told, by the self.
But there’s another whisper. The whisper of grace that says go on, give it a try. I’ve got plans for you.
I don’t know what your dream is. But I do know you have one. And I do know that your dream might just be way bigger than what you think you can actually achieve. A radical dream. A God-sized dream.
Radical dreams need radical grace.
And that mountain you want moved? Yeah, radical grace can do it. Radical faith can do it. Faith that takes the first step. And then the next. And the next. Faith in the process, slow as it might be. Faith in the dream, crazy as it might seem. Faith in the One who put the dream in your heart.
It can move mountains. It can move your mountain.
I can’t promise you a softball-sized mountain. Or even a bowling ball sized one.
Honestly, I can’t even promise the use of a backhoe to help you move that mountain. But if you’re willing to grab a shovel, or even a teaspoon, I can promise you that that mountain can be moved.