Lindsey stared at the screen in front of her. Another rejection email, another month with no job leads. She bit her lip in despair, trying to hold in her tears. She didn’t have money to pay her house payment, or any of her other bills for that matter. The economy was seriously struggling, and had been for some time now. She knew that she wasn’t the only person in her position, but being out of work for five months now was taking its toll on her.
She thought back to when she was first laid-off from her job. She remembered her choice to not be afraid, but to trust in God. She remembered choosing faith over fear, as well as the peace that accompanied that decision.
Her faith had felt strong at that point in time. She was so confident then, but she felt so helpless now. There were not many jobs to apply to in her field, and so far, she hadn’t even gotten an interview with the ones she was qualified to apply to. Each rejection and each passing day had chipped away at her faith until almost nothing remained.
As she prepared her simple meal that night, her mind raced with thoughts of being homeless,
of losing all she had worked for, of not knowing how to provide for her son. He would be home from grandma’s house soon, and she needed to find a way to appear strong for him. “But what if we do lose the house?” she thought. “How do I explain that to him?”
As her mind continued to race, she did not see how anything would change. Turning on the TV to try and drown out the growing chorus of fears inside, she mindlessly flipped through channels, eventually turning it off as it only compounded the noise inside her mind.
Walking into her parlor, she noticed a scrapbook from her childhood on the bottom of the bookshelf. With a sense of sadness in her heart, she pulled it from the shelf and opened it. She slowly turned each page, letting the memories associated with each picture replace the noise inside her mind.
After a few minutes, she turned the page and saw a picture of her with her father. Her father had worked a lot when she was a child, and she did not have much of a relationship with him. She did remember though how much she had wanted to be close to him, and she stared at the picture for some time. She turned the page to find a note in her childhood writing that said “I want to be a salesman like dad.”
“Sales?” she thought, “why haven’t I even thought of that as a potential job?” Something inside her mind was stirring. She had worked hard to pursue her career in the solar industry. Were her sights too limited? She shook her head at the thought. She had no sales experience, so it would not be viable.
As she continued flipping through her scrapbook, she saw a handout from one of her Sunday School classes. It read “Remember, faith as small as this grain of mustard seed can move mountains.” As she stared at it, she thought to herself “but I did believe. I put my trust in God when I was first laid-off, and nothing has happened yet.”
She was soon distracted by her son coming home and the nightly routine with getting him to bed. Laying down that night in her own bed, she found her mind still racing. The image of the small mustard seed would not leave her.
Sighing, she opened the Bible on her bed next to her. The Bible fell open to James, and her eyes caught the lines that read “faith without works is dead.” She thought of the difference between a live seed and a dead seed. “Would a dead mustard seed move mountains?” she thought to herself.
She had applied for jobs, but as she reflected on her faith and placing her trust with God, she realized that she had done little else to secure a job. She was sitting, waiting, trusting that something would come. Did she have works the size of a mustard seed though? Did faith as a grain of mustard seed mean that any method could move a mountain, or did it mean being willing to work according to a certain method to move the mountain she faced?
As she reflected on this, she opened her computer one more time and typed in “sales” as the job type in the job search engine. Quite a few jobs appeared, with a number of them saying “no experience needed”. Something inside her jumped with hope again. Perhaps there really was a way to move the mountain of foreclosure looming in front of her. Perhaps she just needed to combine her belief with works to make her faith alive. Maybe it was time to be in sales, just like she had recognized so long ago as a child.
This story reflects a common frustration I have as I try to live by faith. I often believe that something will happen, but that often lulls me into a false sense of security where I stop working to achieve it. I wait for it to be given to me.
If you substitute ‘faith’ with ‘action’, then the parable of the mustard seed would read ‘action the size of a mustard seed can move mountains’. There is real power in faith, but we have to align our actions with our beliefs. If we believe that the mountain of having no income can be moved, we have to be willing to take actions that will produce income, even if it is in an area we are unfamiliar with.
Faith really can move mountains, both figuratively and literally. We start with what we have and what is around us. We open our minds to possibilities, and we begin working, trying each door until we find one that opens.
The door that finally opens may change everything for us. Even if our faith is only that some door will open, we then need to keep that faith alive by continuing to knock on each door we find.
To have this faith, we need to focus on the mustard seed, not the mountain. We need beliefs and actions, and even if they are simple, combining both can yield great results.
Believe is a community of people working to change the world, for good. Members pursue their individual potential and strive to be involved in society at whatever level they can. We would love to have you join us on this journey, as we believe you are a being of divine potential. You have the capacity within you to change the world, for good.