Beside the Well
When I look back at my journal I see a pattern of ups and downs: of great soaring faith and then my tail dragging in the dirt. I could be so bold as to say it reads like the psalms of David—O, woe is me followed by remembering God and being full of praise—but I’m sure I am no David.
My journal holds quotes recorded from my Kindle reading. This time I came across on from Becoming a Woman Whose God is Enough. There’s my word again: enough!
The author wrote of our need for faith. As she referenced the story of the disciples out in the storm, she quoted Matthew Henry, “He does not chide them for disturbing him with their prayers, but for disturbing themselves with their fears.”
Did you catch that? “Disturbing themselves with their fears.” They were making their own anxiety, creating their own doom. It reminded me of the phrase from Genesis 37:35, “he refused to be comforted.” How often are we guilty of refusing to take the comfort God provides? We would rather fret and wail upon our beds than accept the comfort of the Holy Spirit and Scripture. We disturb ourselves by creating imaginary situations that will most likely never take place. We think we are all alone as we face the fear of our “what-ifs” while the God of creation and absolute peace is looking on. What silly creatures we are!
As the author continued, her discussion moved onto the mustard seed from Mark 4:30-32 and Luke 17:5-6. She quoted Clarkson:
“This truth is surely not that the possession of a faith as slight as the mustard seed is small will suffice, but that the faith which is full as is the mustard seed of life and power of appropriation will avail for all occasions. For it is not true that a slight and feeble faith does suffice…only a faith which is a living and a growing power, like the mustard seed in the soil, will triumph over the difficulties to be met and mastered.”
“Full as is the mustard seed” caught my attention. Even if my faith is small, it is still packed with resurrection potential and assurance. The ups and downs of my spiritual walk do not supersede the truth and power of the faith that lies within me.
As Jesus approached the fearful disciples his comment was, “O, ye of little faith” (Matthew 8:26). They had faith. It was there. They needed to appropriate it instead of giving way to the fears around them.
I thought of the day I was going to pass out tracts. I was alone and fearful as I prayed my way to town. Then, hanging from the outside of the local art museum was a huge banner that read, “Courage is stronger than fear.” Right there my fear stopped and courage (appropriated by my little mustard seed sized faith) took over!
Next time I peruse my journal I hope to find a more stable record, but even if I still go up and down, it gives me great comfort and assurance to know there is a constant seed of hope and faith within me. When fear tries to disturb me, I hope I will be reminded that courage is stronger than fear and I will lay aside the torment of fear replacing it will a few more sprouts of faith.
Clarkson, W, The Pulpit Commentary, eds. H.D.M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, vol. 16, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson,1985, p 56.
Heald, Cynthia, Becoming a Woman Whose God is Enough, NavPress, Carol Stream, Illinois, location 1097 Kindle, 2014
Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. 5, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson,1985,