Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Little Faith

When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him, and said, ‘Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.’ Jesus answered, ‘You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.’ And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there”, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.’ Matthew 17:14-21

It is the season where the garden is coming to an end, when we harvest the remaining herbs and bring them in to dry. There are still a few small tomatoes and eggplants hanging on to withering vines, but their time is short. Some of the garden was planted with seeds, other parts with small seedlings. From both we got robust plants. Marveling at how much can come from so little, I tuck away the images from mid-summer and pray we can grow an abundant garden again.

The disciples are failing miserably. They ask Jesus for help and he heals the little boy. Their failure, he tells them, is from their lack of faith and if they had but faith the size of mustard seeds they could move mountains. Well, I would've been hurt by that, even though we have no idea how the disciples felt. They were doing their best but this was all new to them. We all have times when, despite our best efforts, everything goes terribly wrong and everything we do seems destined for failure. Jesus invites us to not give up, but to take the little seed of faith that we have and let it germinate, let it go and trust God to yield amazing fruit from our little faithful efforts.

Today I ask God to help me avoid giving up but rather help me to let go and trust God to bring the increase and the healing. We are often trusting our own gifts rather than trusting God - having real faith. May we all receive this day an extra measure of faith, and in response to that gift of faith may we freely share God's love with a tormented and hurting world.

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