Northern Rivers, New South Wales, Australia

Mustard seeds

Mustard seeds. PICTURE: Joshua Lanzarini/Unsplash

“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.” - Matthew 17:20

I was searching through my spice basket the other day, looking for some elusive flavour that I needed in my recipe, when I came across a packet of mustard seeds. Obviously bought for a since-tried dish and left to be useful at another meal.

I couldn’t help but stare at them and think of the above verse. I mean, they were tiny. Jesus knew what He was talking about when He used the mustard seed as an example of something small to illustrate His story. To bring the message home about the power of faith, He needed to use one of the tiniest items an agrarian society could relate to.

"Jesus knew what He was talking about when He used the mustard seed as an example of something small to illustrate His story. To bring the message home about the power of faith, He needed to use one of the tiniest items an agrarian society could relate to."

I turned the packet of these tiny faith bullets in my hands and contemplated the enormity of literally moving mountains with just one mustard seed dose of faith. I received no epiphany as I have always found it hard to fathom the power faith must have, to only have such a small amount to be able to do such an enormous task.

In the spiritual sense we are talking about dynamite here. So I contemplated some more. Dynamite, when it reacts, it explodes. There is an amazing burst of energy and things move dramatically. We all know when dynamite goes off.

Mountains do move geographically. Science News reports on Heart Mountain on the present day border between Montana and Wyoming in the United States, which had been a part of a larger mountain range. It somehow became detached and shifted 100 kilometres to the south-west. Maybe it tripped over a mustard seed. 



There probably isn’t much call for the literal moving of mountains in our day to day lives. But we all have mountains, in the figurative sense, that we need to climb...or perhaps have God move for us. The thing is, when we pray for these mountains to move, it may not be in that dynamite kind of way. It may be a very long process, perhaps a lifetime, and we may not realise our mountain is being moved.

Many times in my journals I have gone back over events and with the gift of hindsight seen where mountains in my life have been moved. All because I used my mustard seed-sized faith and prayed a prayer to ask for it to be so. Often when we are in the middle of this horrible mountainous situation, we can’t see that it is slowly being moved for us. However, looking back, we eventually see this oversized hill in the rearview mirror.

Don’t get me wrong, there are moments of spiritual dynamite where we see God working dramatically through quick or spontaneously answered prayer, even the mundane ones, but I guess my message here is to take heart and keep the faith – especially those mustard seed-sized ones – and know that sometimes those mountains take a while to move, but it is always in God’s timing.