Are you undergoing some struggle in your life right now? If not then give it time, because you most likely will at some time in your future. I’m not trying to be pessimistic, but I’ve seen how the world (and living in it), works. Yes, I’m sure that some folks have what we perceive to be “the perfect life,” but I doubt that is really the case.
I remember hearing a story about our problems that went something like this: A man was deeply troubled having a very serious problem in his life. He looked at those around him and did not see anyone who seemed to suffer as he was. That night when he went to bed he prayed to God to lift his problem from him. When he went to sleep he began to dream. In the dream he saw people walking in a circle throwing their problem in a pile in the center. Each person was then free to choose a problem someone else had discarded to replace their own. He joined the circle and walked around the pile of problems. As he circled searching for a problem he would choose to bear he discovered that many people who he had thought had light problems actually had heavy burdens. In the end he chose to pick up the problem he had discarded and bear it once again. Sometimes it is true, the trouble we know is better than the devil we don’t.
How many times have you heard someone say, “Just hold on a little longer,” or “It’s always darkest before the dawn,” or “It will get worse before it gets better,” or “God has a plan for you,” or “You just have to believe,” or perhaps one of the thousands of other variations of these sayings.
When you are dealing with a deep hurt, a struggle that causes pain in your heart, those words often aren’t of much comfort, are they? And yet if we claim to be Christians we face the battle around the question of Faith don’t we? One of passages which troubled me for many years is Matthew 17:20 where Jesus said: “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
What Jesus is saying here is that Faith is the most important thing we can have in our lives, it is central to our relationship to God. Did Jesus literally mean that we are suppose to try to move mountains with their minds? No, not at all; Jesus was using a common phrase from their society which all Jews knew. A Rabbi would talk about resolving difficulties as “uprooting or pulverizing mountains”. Jesus never meant for this to be taken literally, but the passage is talking about the power of even just a little bit of faith to heal our lives.
Having even “Just a little bit” of faith implies that you have a relationship with Jesus to start with. It is impossible to “cast your cares (or burdens) on him,” (1 Peter 5:7), if you have let the relationship with him slip away. He is not asking for a mountain sized faith, he is begging you for have the faith of a mustard seed.
So where are you in dealing with your problems? Where are you in your relationship to Jesus? You can’t deal with the problems without having faith, even just a little bit of it.
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.