When facing impossible circumstances, it’s easy to run to God. When there are no other options, faith can suddenly appear. But what happens when in the midst of a crisis, we become distracted by minor problems.
When my wife was pregnant with our third daughter, we faced the biggest challenge we had ever encountered to that point. Diagnosed with debilitating birth defect, our world was turned upside down. As it turns out, there was an experimental new surgery, that could be performed before the baby was born. We were fortunate enough to be included in a trial to have the surgery, which was an answer to prayer. Following the surgery, my wife had essentially undergone a C-section, and was still pregnant. There was a lot of pain and a lot of uncertainty during those painful days. It was then that we prayed a lot, and exercised our faith in ways we never had before.
During this challenging time, we were basically sequestered in a hotel room. My wife was on strict bed rest, and I served as much as an errand boy, as I did as a husband. There were times it was a little tense, however, for the most part, we fared well. The smallest chores were the only highlights that punctuated our day. On one such occasion, I had left some laundry in the hotel laundromat and had returned to the room while it dried. When I went back to check on it, I found that it had been rifled through and somethings had been stolen.
Dejected, I returned to our hotel room, laundry in hand. She could tell that something was wrong, and I had to confess that I had failed to guard the laundry. Worse than that I had to admit that some items, mostly hers, had been stolen.
Suddenly, a rush of emotions: anger, frustration, hopelessness and despair. “Why can’t anything go right?” She cried. “We shouldn’t have even done this! Everything is just awful!”
In that moment, we felt like giving up. All the faith that seemed so strong, was suddenly drained in a moment. So what happened? Did we really lose faith? No, we had simply tripped over a mole hill while focusing on the mountain.
Mountains are hard to tackle, but easy to see. A mountain of a problem allows you to muster your strength and brace for a fight. But a mole hill has the same agenda: to defeat you. Mole hills hide below our vision and are content to turn your ankle and hobble your stride.
So how do we keep from stumbling? The secret is to look to the author and perfector of our faith, rather than the problem we are using faith to overcome. Scripture tells us “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”Psalms 119:105 ESV. An excellent way to keep from stumbling on mole hills is to hide His word in your heart, to meditate on it and to let it light every step.
If you’re facing a mountain, look to Jesus. Not just to remove your challenge, but to sustain you every step of the journey.