Sam: Dad, I have a question about a verse.
Dad: Great! I love questions like that, buddy! I’m glad when you are thinking about what you’ve read and asking questions.
Sam: Actually, I didn’t read it. I was listening to the Seeds Music [editorial note: highly recommended!] and the verse is in one of the songs. You know, the song that says, “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, or you can say to this tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey.”
Dad: I see. Yes, I know that song.
Sam: Well, I went outside and told a tree to be uprooted and planted in the sea. … And nothing happened. (not in childishly naïve or worried way, but in more a curious, quizzical, maybe even slightly indignant way) I believed that it would! Do I not have a mustard seed of faith?
Dad: Well, that’s one possibility. The other possibility is that the mountain and the tree are met…
Sam: That’s what I was thinking – that they’re more metaphorical.
Dad: So what do you think the point of the verse is? (pause) Is it possible to move a mountain or uproot a tree with words?
Sam: No. ... But nothing is impossible with God!
Dad: You’re right. But what do you think is the point of that verse?
Sam: I want you to tell me, Dad.
Dad: I want you to think about it. Let me ask it this way. Do you think the point of the verse is: If you have really, really, Olympic-strong faith, then you can do anything! You can tell this mountain to move and you can say to this tree be uprooted and it will obey, IF your faith is strong enough! Do you think that’s the point?
Dad: So what do you think the point is? Where do you think the focus is? Is it on the strength of your faith?
Dad: Then where’s the focus? (pause) Let me ask it this way, if the focus isn’t on the strength of your faith, then where is the emphasis?
Sam: On the strength of Jesus?
Dad: Yes! In what way?
Sam: I don’t know! That’s why I’m asking you!
Dad: How about this – If the focus is not on the strength of your faith, isn’t it on the strength on the one in whom you trust? The focus is not on the strength of your faith, but on the strength of the object of your faith.
Sam: (smile starts to break out at “the object of…”) Ohhh… Yeah!
Dad: Think about it this way. If I ask Jono to move fifteen 200 pound rocks for me while I’m gone at work, and I really believe he can do it, what will I find when I get home?
Sam: The rocks will all still be in the same place.
Dad: But what if I really, really, really believe that he can really do it?!
Dad: What if I ask Andre the Giant (assuming he was still alive) to move those fifteen 200 pound rocks for me while I’m gone at work? And, what if I’m not really sure he can do it. What will I find?
Sam: The rocks will all be moved – no problem.
Dad: Pretty encouraging that the focus is not on the strength of our faith, but on God’s strength, huh? All we need is small, weak, (but genuine) faith. And the impossible can happen. Not because of our strength, but because of God’s. Pretty encouraging, huh, that you don’t have to have Olympian faith in order for God to use you in powerful ways?