As a shepherd of a flock, I have the privilege and opportunity to visit and pray for people as they convalesce in hospitals.
On one such recent occasion, I prayed with a wife as she stood over her husband who was in a coma from a severe car accident. I began by anointing him with oil and praying for him. I prayed with all the conviction and as much faith as I could muster.
Then she prayed.
She prayed with the passion of a wife praying for her beloved. She petitioned God with the faith of a wife praying for her beloved. She pleaded with the fervor of wife praying for her beloved. She probed the deepest recesses of her heart on behalf of her beloved.
At that moment, as I heard her pray, I felt like I had faith less than a grain of mustard seed.
Then I recalled what Jesus said in Matthew 17:20, “…for truly I say to 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 to you.”
Jesus isn’t making a horticultural statement (although in the mind of the Hebrew listener, a mustard seed represented something extremely small). He is saying that there is great power in faith since it takes so little of it to ask for something so big. I am so glad He didn’t say that it would take the faith the size of a mountain to move a grain of mustard seed, although sometimes we act as though He did.
After giving it some thought, I didn’t feel bad that my prayer seemed dwarfed by her prayer… that my faith seemed small compared to her faith. She prayed as a wife would and should pray for her husband. I prayed with the faith God had granted to me at that moment in time.
You see, I do have faith in the power of God… that He can do anything He chooses to do, no matter how impossible it may seem to us. And you know what? That’s just enough faith even when it seems less than a grain of mustard seed.