And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

Luke 17: 6

 

The basic laws of nature are at work all around us every day and all of the time. They hold our world together and keep things in their reliably assigned places. They also become rogue agents and tear our lives apart and disrupt the best developed of our plans. When our world is on its good behavior it is miraculously enjoyable, and when it is in its manic, out of control phases it is terrifying and impossibly hard to understand.

 

Unfortunately, Jesus is not giving us a way to take control over all of this chaos of nature. He is not telling us that our faith, if sufficiently constant and well placed in Him, will grant us the ability to hold God-like sway over these natural laws. The Kingdom of God is not a place where we can redecorate the landscape by planting trees in the lagoon, and we can’t stop the hurricane or the typhoon from its destructive path. This is not the sort of manifestation of faith that has any real value to God as it is not the sort of service to Him that He desires from us.

 

Christ wants His people to serve Him out of a simple, very direct faith. Christ is real in this world. He takes us out of a life in which we are the victims of the evil that seems to rule the day here, and He places us into a spiritual relationship that our faith-infused imaginations now grasp as our reality. It is from the perspective of this relationship that all that happens around and to us in this world begins to gain a sense of order and that we can comprehend God’s will and plan for redemption in the middle of the storm. Even the smallest grain of faith leads to hope, and hope leads to understanding. Then, as a result of God’s true law of nature, understanding brings us to service to our Lord.