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|Columns - Yevet Tenney|
|Thursday, 09 April 2009 08:47|
As I watch the little plants pop through the soil and reach heavenward, I am reminded of the infinite power of faith and the grain of mustard seed.
The seed is as small almost as a grain of sand, yet it grows into a beautiful yellow plant that spreads its branches for the birds to nest in it.
Christ often used it as an example in his teachings. In Matthew he compared the mustard seed to the kingdom of heaven – how it begins very small and insignificant but grows into something magnificent. My favorite comparison comes from Matt. 17:20:
“And Jesus said unto them . . . 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.”
If we take Christ at His word, “nothing shall be impossible unto you” if you have faith, it opens a door to a wonderful world uncharted by man. It takes all the excuses and makes them useless. If everything is possible, why do we muddle around in our miserable existence? Why don’t we just throw off our shackles and be free in the glorious realm of possibilities? Some people have.
Thomas Edison created the light bulb, phonograph and motion pictures. Who would have believed in his time that these things were possible? He broke the impossibility barrier though faith. Did he live to see how far-reaching his inventions would take mankind? No, but he opened the door, and his faith gave faith to others.
Alexander Graham Bell was another who stepped into the realm of faith. Telephone lines crisscrossed America because he believed. Now we carry phones in our pockets that connect us to the entire world with a few pecks of our fingers on the keypad. Who would have ever imagined such a miracle even 20 years ago?
The Wright brothers opened the impossible world of the sky. Who knows how far-reaching their accomplishments took the universe? Planes, jets, rockets, space exploration and the satellite were impossibilities in times past.
Faith in a dream broke the disbelief barrier and opened the immensity of space to all mankind. We are indebted to thousands of dreamers who have paved the way for other dreamers. Dreamers are people of faith and action. They don’t sit around thinking of all the reasons why it’s not possible. They spend their time thinking about how to make the impossible possible. Their faith is the magic ingredient that caused their proverbial mountains to move.
The scriptures are filled with stories of men who tested Christ’s words concerning the mustard seed. David faced Goliath with faith in the God of Israel. Joseph faced Pharaoh’s enigma with faith and interpreted his dreams. He stored food that saved Egypt and all of Israel. Who would have guessed that a seven-year supply of grain would be needed in times of plenty for a forthcoming famine? Joseph’s faith made it all possible.
Moses went into Egypt, the great world power of the time, and brought it to its knees. Who would have ever believed that Moses, a Hebrew child, drawn from the Nile, would ever have the power to sack Egypt? His faith in the Great I Am, made it possible for him to bring plagues upon Pharaoh and his household. Moses’ faith parted the Red Sea and the children of Israel crossed on dry ground. Faith closed up the sea and drowned the Egyptian soldiers. Mustard seed miracle!
In the wilderness, the Lord fed the children of Israel with manna from heaven. They should have been wildly grateful, but instead they complained. Because of their lack of faith, the older generation, who had witnessed all the wonderful miracles in Egypt at the hand of Moses, was consigned to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. One by one the older generation complained themselves to death. Only the younger generation was able to enter the Promised Land.
I wonder how long I have wandered in the proverbial wilderness because of my unbelief? I have seen mighty miracles in my life, yet I still complain about the status quo. I want to know why I still don’t have a best seller. I wonder why my house is such a monster to clean! I wonder why I don’t accomplish anything! I wallow in my comfort zone and wonder why the other fellow has all the luck. I want by the mile but work by the inch. No wonder I haven’t made a big splash in the pool of success!
My circle of influence is a tiny ripple compared to Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson. They were dreamers who worked with faith, and they changed the world.
Someone said, “Pray as if everything depends on the Lord and work as if everything depends on you.”
That is what dreamers do. We were born to greatness! We are children of an omnipotent God, a God who has promised whatever we ask in faith we shall receive. Why do we act like donkeys with the steel bit of circumstance in our mouths? Why do some people have great faith and some people don’t?
The answer is simple – fear and faith are not good bedfellows. They fight until one ends up on the floor. We can’t dwell on everything that is wrong with life and expect to see evidences of God’s handiwork moving in our behalf. We can’t be focused on a vision of the future while we whine over our past misfortunes. We can’t be afraid to take a risk, and still move forward to test the water of success.
Earl Nightingale said, “The problem with people is they just don’t think.”
I would add, “People don’t take time to think; they are often led around by one circumstance to another.”
They let the “expedient” dictate the course of action. They don’t plan or prioritize. They simply live. Answering the phone, shopping, browsing the Internet, answering e-mails, watching the game, driving to the store, picking up the kids and attending meetings, there goes the time! What is left for thinking, praying or pondering? Crumbs from a magnificent would-have-been feast! A big part of faith is the asking.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matt. 7:7).
If we put the Lord first, He will help us move from the “expedient” to the vital. We will not lose sight of the things that really matter. We will have no regrets when our life is over. He will help us cut to the center of our mission in life.
We will put our families in high priority and everything else will follow. The phone will still ring, but it won’t take precedence over time with a child. The e-mail list will stack up, but there is a delete button, and 90 percent of the information isn’t worth reading anyway. After all, it will be obsolete tomorrow.
Our tracks are crossing in the sands of time. The imprints we leave will sift, and the wind will blow them away. We too will be obsolete unless we write our names in God’s book and in the hearts of those we love.
Someday, we will stand at the end of life and ask, “What have I accomplished?”
We will be dissatisfied with the answer unless we seek God first.
If we seek God first, we will take time to ask Him, “What will you have me do today? I don’t have time for everything; help me to do the most important things. I have a mission to perform; help me to discover part of it today.”
He will answer. Maybe not while you’re on your knees, but when you need to know, He will whisper in your heart. That is where faith comes in. When you hear God’s voice, you will have the faith to answer.
You will drop the less important things and do what He has asked you to do. His miracles will unfold before your very eyes. You will see mountains move out of your path, and the mustard seed will grow into a magnificent tree whose branches bless thousands. PD
Grate potatoes. Add soup, sour cream, cheese and chives, and mix well. Pour into baking dish. Mix butter and crushed cornflakes. Spread mixture over potatoes and bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes.