Links Daily Devotional

Just Enough Faith

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. 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, NIV)

According to the calendar it’s officially spring. Unfortunately in many of the northern states, the snow still blankets the grass and the temperatures continue to dance below the freezing mark. Here the beginning of the golf season is merely an idea and green fairways and trees with full branches feels unattainable.

In anticipation of traveling to the California desert this week to be with the Links Players staff and a few of the local Fellowships, I started feeling nervous about giving a golf clinic and playing because I haven’t touched a club in more than five months. Even though I have played this game for over 30 years, I still struggle believing I will make contact and get the ball airborne after such a long break. I needed at least one practice session to reawaken the little seeds of faith that have been lying dormant within me over this long winter.

I headed out to Thousand OaksGolfAcademy and the heated hitting bays. The first practice swings were tight and the club felt foreign in my hands. I popped the first ball onto the mat, took a couple of breaths, and hit my first 9-iron. The lack of confidence I had driven to the range with slowly faded as I watched the trajectory of my first shot climb high into the cloudy sky with a gentle draw. I felt both relief and delight. My little faith was watered and grew as each ball I hit flew effortlessly into the white expanse.

There are many life situations where I struggle with too little faith as well. Will God meet me in my place of need? Will he really use me to make a difference for his kingdom? And yet, in today’s passage Jesus tells us that even if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds on earth, we will be able to say to a mountain, “Move,” and it will move.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus shares that the mustard seed “grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade” (Mark 4:32). No circumstance, burden, heartache, or place of brokenness is impossible to move through when we hold even the smallest little seed of faith in our heart that God’s kindness and love will help us.

What is faith? An online dictionary defines it as “a complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” I like Dr. Dan Allender’s thoughts on what faith is: “the confidence in the goodness and the nature of God.” Faith begins when we believe in the resurrection story and is revealed through the unseen person of Jesus Christ. Faith grows when we remember the places where God has shown up in our story and when we are willing to struggle with God through our present circumstances. When we exercise our faith muscles by leaning into the places where we feel doubt and a lack of confidence, we will find an anchor of stability, rest, and calm. Our faith will grow and be like the full-grown branch that offers shade and rest to the birds.

I know I won’t have my “A” game with me in the desert, but I will carry my mustard seed-sized faith, and allow my body to remember the thousands of swings I have made in the past, and believe that God will use me to make a difference as I share myself with and enjoy the men and women I am privileged to meet.

Tracy Hanson
April 1, 2014
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