Last night as I was saying my bedtime prayer, I was talking to God about my health. I am not getting my work done as fast as I want because I have muscular aches, low energy, and an insipid attitude. This is unusual for me so I thought that I must be ill. Perhaps I had picked up something while substitute teaching at the local Elementary School. I decided to pray for healing.
While discussing this with the Lord, I recognized my need for faith so I asked God for the gift of faith. I hardened my will and bore down in belief in the healing power of God and in his approval and blessing to be healed. I made the determined decision to believe with all my heart.
This morning my smart watch says I got the best night’s sleep since I started wearing it – about 2 months. Thinking about what happened last night, I realize that when I bore down in determination to have faith, I was exercising my faith by sheer willpower. It was determination as a child of God and the stirring of the seed of divinity that resides in all His children. I think having faith is both a decision and an exertion of will.
The Faith of a Mustard Seed
We might think that a mustard seed can’t have faith. But what if it can? What if we have a limited idea of faith when we suppose that it is a strictly spiritual thing? Why did Christ choose a mustard seed for his exhortation? Was it only because it is such a tiny seed that grows into a large tree? The Hebrew people are famous for their poetic language that conveys information at two or more levels.
We are always caught in a semantic dilemma when we use words. There is a space between words and their meaning and we are always in it. The poets and the Hebrews make good use of it. In this instance, Christ may have been trying to convey the fact that a mustard seed contains all the needed information to make a giant tree. And that, as literal children of Heavenly Father, we contain all the necessary information to become like Jesus Christ. What else could “joint heirs” mean?
The seed needs a number of external resources in order to fulfill its destiny, and so do we. We need food, shelter, friends, love, quiet moments, introspection, and the will to do only good. Most importantly, we require the Atonement of Christ to cleanse us so we will be kind to ourselves and comfortable in the presence of God and his Christ.
If we remember, in our prayers, that we are literal children of the Father, brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, we can learn to pray with the faith of a mustard seed.
- Make the conscience decision to exercise faith
- Pray for the gift of faith
- Bear down with faith in Jesus Christ
- Use willpower to choose to believe (despite evidence that seems daunting)
We have the choice and the resources, we have the will, and we have the opportunity to exert our testimony of Christ. If a seed can do it, so can we.
“Where there’s a will there’s a way.”