Monday, August 17, 2015

Do Not Doubt

On the following day, when they came from Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard it.
Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, "Is it not written,
'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'?
But you have made it a den of robbers."
And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.
In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered." Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses."  Mark 11:12-26 
When I was a little girl, one of my favorite books was the Little Engine that Could .It has always inspired me, even as an adult, to remember the power of faith. When we are feeling like the world's against us and we are too small, it is important to remember the power and promise of faith. I never felt adequate for the tasks ahead, growing up, and often feel that way as an adult. We are only human and given to those days when we are overwhelmed and feeling weak facing insurmountable odds.
Jesus had taken the temple and Jerusalem by storm and made the religious leaders put a price on his head. Their way of life was torn asunder and they were angry and afraid. Everyone was spellbound by his teaching which made them even more angry.  The impossible was becoming impossible and out of their control. The next morning the disciples pointed out the fig tree, which gave Jesus an opportunity to talk to them about faith. We are invited to see our belief, our power, our strength, embedded in the strength and power of the living God of love. We are never alone in our faith. We are made stronger as we put all doubt aside. God promises to make the impossible possible.
Today I ask God to give me the strength to put aside all doubt. May we all be like the little engine, facing an enormous hill. May love drive us, may compassion spur us on and may God give us the faith to drive out all doubt so that the impossible may become possible for those in great need today.

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