A friend of mine will shortly set out on an amazing adventure – to climb Mount Kilimanjaro – to help raise funds for the charity Scottish Spina Bifida. I really admire him for that. It will take courage, strength and endurance.
But I ask myself why he doesn’t just walk round it. After all, when we face problems in our lives, some of them look like mountains, and that’s often the easiest thing to do, isn’t it – walk round them? Sometimes we don’t even do that – we just stand there and look at them. They are huge! I’ll never get over it! Scientists say that Mount Everest is getting higher all the time. As we just stand and look at our problems, they get bigger too. Sometimes we can’t even see the top.
I found a new teacher this week. He is 28 years old by normal reckoning but as I write this he is only 48 hours old. On Tuesday morning he was in a really bad way, coming out of the wrong side of his addiction, his life in tatters. On Tuesday night he accepted Jesus into his life and was born again! A new life had begun and more or less immediately the effect of the alcohol started to disappear. Hope came back in his fairly bleary eyes, which had shed so many tears as he asked Christ for forgiveness. A small smile appeared for a second. Yesterday the improvement continued, and today he looked great, and was getting better inside by the minute.
As I say, he is my new teacher. He showed me today that I don’t need to stand and look at mountains. I don’t need to walk round them, and I don’t even need to climb them. He told me this morning that he had a problem with his car, which he needs for work. The garage came to get it to repair it, and said that it would probably be the cylinder head gasket. A costly repair, and he had no money. It would take days to repair. This afternoon he phoned to say that the garage had looked at the car – the only thing that was needed was a new switch costing £20! He said, “It must be God! It must be God! God is amazing! This is brilliant!”
He has been a Christian just two days and he knows that God MOVES mountains!
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” (Matthew 17:20, NLT)
Too often, I pray for things and don’t really have enough faith to expect them. Even worse, when things do happen, I sometimes wonder if it was just coincidence. Not much faith, is it? Here is this young Christian who has no doubt whatsoever! He has the faith of a child, blind faith, faith that is only the size of a mustard seed. Faith that works. Faith that can move a mountain.
He is my new teacher. I have learned much from him today.