Sunday, January 22, 2017
Faith, the Size of a Man's Hand (By Dan Dooley)
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
When we think about having just a little faith, which is enough faith to move those mountains, the mustard seed comes to mind. I like to think of a different faith picture. Faith which is the size of a man's hand. "What's that all about, Dan?"
If we have faith, and that is faith to any degree, even as Jesus used the figure of speech to say "as little as the size of a mustard seed" and as faith is the opposite of doubt, then if we have faith, we do not have doubt. That's enough faith to accomplish what we are believing for. Well, I didn't say it. Jesus did. I'll take His word for it and that's good enough for me.
Interestingly though, sometimes faith can be something seen. "That does go against the definition of faith, Dan. The Bible says that 'faith is the evidence of things not seen'." That is true, but when we see God's hand at work in a situation, our initial sight shows something very small. Something of minuscule importance and effect on the scale of the magnitude of the need. Consider Elijah's opinion on the smallest of the sign and what that tiny sign really meant to the whole of the miracle.
"Go and look toward the sea," he told his servant. And he went up and looked.
"There is nothing there," he said.
Seven times Elijah said, "Go back."
The seventh time the servant reported, "A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea."
So Elijah said, "Go and tell Ahab, 'Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.'"
Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain came on and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. (1 Kings 18:43-46)
Elijah prayed. He saw nothing of an answer to his prayer. He prayed again. Still, he saw nothing. Again and again. Seven times in all. Finally, did he see rain? No. All that was seen was a tiny cloud. Now think about that the next dry spell of the summer and when you are really hoping for rain. Go look at the tiny clouds in the sky? Do they shout "rain" to you? Hardly.
That was not what Elijah saw. When we pray for a miracle in our lives we may not always immediately see the answer. In fact, we may have to pray again. And again. And again. Remember, Jesus told us to do that anyhow. What do we have to see to know that the answer is on the way? The deluge of rainfall? That's what we are praying for, after all. No. We just need to see the tiny cloud. Once the tiny cloud is seen, the rain is on the way.