Recently, I came across Jesus’ words, in Matthew 17:20: “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.”
So I began to imagine, what if someone decided they wanted Mt. Everest closer to home, say in rural Indiana, and exercised their faith according to this passage? Then, “ba da boom, ba da bang”, Mt. Everest appears in someone’s farm field, annihilating that poor farmer’s corn crop! Meanwhile, mountain climbers in Nepal start blaming their Sherpa guides for getting lost on their Everest expedition– “Hey, what happened to Mount Everest?! Shouldn’t it be right here, up ahead?” “I don’t know– it was here the last time I checked…”
This leads to some questions— Why don’t mountains move wherever and whenever believers ask them to? If they don’t, then why does Jesus tell us they will if we have even a tiny amount of faith? Can we believe the Bible or not?
First, let’s keep in mind that Scripture never contradicts itself. Other passages state that we need to “ask according to His (God’s) will” (1 John. 5:14-15). In other words, we need to align our desires and requests with His purpose. Otherwise we’d end up with things like “mountain wars”— believers competing over where to locate their favorite mountains (“Over here!” “No, by me!”) Imagine the traffic jams and destruction of property resulting from mountains transporting all over the world!
Second, let’s examine our motives (goes along with God’s will). Why are we asking? For our own comfort, higher status, popularity, pleasure, etc.? There’s nothing wrong with any of these, but God wants to provide them His way, in His time, not cave in to our demands. If He did, we’d be “god” instead of Him! When we “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”, “all these things [are] given to us” as well (Matthew 6:33).
That can sound difficult, unfair, and even a bit risky, but in the end, we get the better deal. All we have to do is concern ourselves with knowing and loving God and developing better character, with His help, and He takes care of everything else so we don’t have to worry about it. I’d rather have the One who has perfect love, power, and wisdom taking care of my needs than have to take care of all that myself! He always gets the job done, in the best way.
So, what does “nothing will be impossible for you” mean? It refers to the results of our faith. And faith, by definition, refers to who or what we have faith in. If we connect our hopes, dreams, visions, and future to the One Who always does everything best, we can’t lose. Even if we can only imagine a mustard-seed’s worth of how He’s going to do that. Just our willingness to trust Him with whatever concerns us makes the best outcome possible—because “nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37; Matthew 19:26; Jeremiah 32:27). Us connected to God, motives coming from Him, makes “nothing impossible for [us].”
If He really wanted to, He could move mountains. He certainly removes huge obstacles and solves major problems for us that we couldn’t budge on our own. We just need to trust Him enough to ask— for the right thing, done the right way, at the right time, for the right reasons.
I wonder if moving the ocean/beach closer to us (or maybe us closer to the ocean) fits in that category?