On the front of the card was this saying by a Bonnie Jensen. "There is nothing more powerful than a faith-filled prayer -- it has the grace to comfort the soul and the strength to move a mountain."
This brought to mind a song I had been meaning to write about... a song by Jason Castro entitled "Only a Mountain." The premise of the song is, I would presume, Matthew 17:20, which says "He said to them,“Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
While living in the Tri-Cities area of Tennessee, I enjoyed hearing this song. I thought it was a great song. But, with a few more years and a few more pounds under my elastic waistband, it no longer sits well with me. It had been months since I'd heard it, but when it was played on the radio a few weeks ago, I was on my way home from yet another visit to a local surgeon because of Ladybug's chronic wound.
And it occurred to me... no. You can't just bounce around to a song singing "You don't have to find your way around it; tell it to move, it'll move. Tell it to fall, it'll fall." I understand there were good intentions behind the writing of that song, but it reveals the dangers of taking a single verse without the context surrounding it. Especially if you have not been blessed to have had the full Bible taught to you, this could be very frustrating. "My mountain isn't moving. Maybe I don't have enough faith. Maybe God isn't real, since that's what He's supposed to do and He's not doing it."
Now granted, if you're basing your faith a single song you have other issues that need to be addressed, but still... God does not promise to move every mountain upon our command. There are many faith-filled people who beg God and fully believe that He can do as they request, but He answers no.
I'm aware of a mother who is full of faith. She believes God can heal her son. She believes in miracles. She's seen them happen. But her son is two years old, and he did not leap out of bed this morning and great her with spontaneous language. She had to get out of bed, lift him from his seat, strap on his braces, and continue trudging up the mountain in front of her as she spends hours feeding and burping and pleading for an ounce of weight gain. She prepares mentally and physically for yet another surgery.
I'm aware of a woman who is full of faith. She believes God can cure her of cancer. But this morning, she woke up, got out of bed, and continued trudging up the mountain before her. She is preparing for surgery. She strives to think positively and take care of her body while it fights cancer.
I have a mountain. It's a crater in my child's head. I've encountered mountains before, called craniosynostosis, called Chiari Malformation. Could God have healed my daughter from any of those? Yes. He could have. Did I believe Him capable of unfusing her skull without any surgical intervention? Yes. Did I believe Him capable of giving her brain room and pulling that cerebellum back up on top of the skull base? Yes. Did He choose to move that mountain for me? NO.
I asked. He said NO. He left that mountain there.
I don't know. But I do know, God's will was for me to climb that mountain. It was not His will to move it.
Will God move the mountains in front of the other two ladies I mentioned? I don't know. He can. I pray He will. But, if He chooses not to move them, I pray that they will have the strength to keep climbing. Even if it feels they are slipping backwards. Even if it feels it will never end.
Because the God who is capable of moving mountains, is also capable of strengthening the feet, the hearts, the souls of those who are climbing them.
And so, back to the quote. Which I love. This Ms Jensen, whomever she is, has it correct. She does not say that prayer will move mountains. She says it has the strength to move them. And it has the grace to comfort the soul if that mountain is not moved.
Are you facing a mountain? When you pray, do you believe that not only is God capable of moving that mountain, but that He is also capable of equipping your feeble self to climb it?