Tom and I have been moving mountains – mountains of soil and mulch. We got the retaining walls built at John and Jackie’s house but then needed to even out the areas with more soil. We ordered 8 cubic yards of soil and 10 cubic yards of mulch, which were dumped in their driveway as two mountains.
Tom and I started in on the soil and got most of it moved in one day. Then we worked on the mulch and got most of it moved on another day. We went back for a third day to finish the job, moving the remaining soil to the garden and the remaining mulch to a side bed. It was a slow, physical job and sometimes felt as if we would never be done. But with shovel, rake, and a big gorilla cart, we moved it all. Both of us rejoiced when the last loads were dumped.
Moving mountains of soil and mulch is just like moving all the other mountains I have faced in life. For me, success in moving mountains comes from chipping away at them, a little at a time. Bit by bit, no matter how long it takes. If you keep at it eventually that mountain gets moved.
Jesus talked about moving mountains. He mentioned it two different times in the book of Matthew.
“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
“Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.” Matthew 21:21
Faith as small as a mustard seed isn’t very big faith. A mustard seed is tiny. So Jesus is telling us here that even a little faith will succeed in moving mountains. It takes faith to think the little bit we do every day makes any difference. Faith is what makes us keep coming back to the task. Faith helps us enlist others in the chore and eventually it gets done.
Whenever I see a job or a task that I think is too big for me to accomplish, I think of these sayings of Jesus. I may not be able to bring about racial equality in the United States, but I can chip away at the mountain of prejudice. I can’t buy food for all the hungry people, but I can make a donation to a food bank. If enough people chip away at it long enough, that mountain is coming down.
So don’t give up and don’t let that mountain – whatever it is – stand in your way. Moving mountains is what we are about as Christians in our world today. With a little faith – and a lot of persistence – we can make a difference for Jesus.