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Who holds the power?
Jessie’s Corner
Becky Gillette
Becky Gillette

Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I assure you that you can say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,’ and your command will be obeyed. All that’s required is that you really believe and do not doubt in your heart. Mark 11:22-23 (NLT)

After Palm Sunday, Jesus looked carefully around Jerusalem and then went to Bethany to stay with friends. The next morning, as they were leaving Bethany to head back to Jerusalem, Jesus decided to check out a fig tree because he was hungry.  Unfortunately, the fig tree that Jesus approached didn’t have any fruit—all it had were green leaves. Jesus cursed the fig tree and went on into Jerusalem where he cleaned the Temple of the marketplace which it had become.

He went back to Bethany and the next morning, returning to Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples walked past the fig tree that had been cursed the previous day. The tree was deader than a doornail and the disciples were astonished. This scripture comes into the Bible at this point.

Unfortunately, this scripture has been used for many purposes—not the least of which is to measure a person’s faith. Faith is a lot like trust, and how can we measure the trust that we have in various situations? I have faith that my car will start up when I turn the key; but what happens when it doesn’t start? Do I lose faith in my car? Probably not. I call someone to fix it and it will again start up when I turn my key.

It usually takes some time to build trust and faith in something or someone; and once we have that faith, it takes more than one disappointment to lose that faith and trust. The third time my car won’t start when I turn the key, I’ll be looking for a new car!

The sad thing is that sometimes we’ll curse something (or someone), but we don’t see any changes. The weeds keep growing in our vegetable patch and the rotten neighbor keeps throwing the trash over the fence into our yard. That doesn’t mean that changes aren’t taking place. I believe that God listens to our request and finds his own way to meet it. There may be a massive drought in the area and everything—including the weeds—will dry up and blow away. The rotten neighbor may end up having a stroke five years down the road and moving into a nursing home.

The question is: Why would we want to move the mountain? My eyes don’t work as well at night as they once did and, at one point, I was expected to drive to a neighboring town to cover a city council meeting. I thought about asking God to beam me directly to the meeting and back home again. Visions of popping in and out of space and the looks on people’s faces made me think again. How disconcerting that would be! I hired a taxi instead. We need to be careful what we ask for!

Becky Gillette is a former teacher, newspaper reporter, and preacher who seeks to take an original approach to life’s lessons. She has recently published her first book, Jessie’s Corner: Something To Think About, which is now available for purchase. Based on several lesser-known scriptures from the Bible, this is a collection of articles which she wrote for a weekly newspaper.