An anchor can’t catch a trout, but a hook can.
I’ve thought for so long that in order for me to do something great for God I need to have great faith and with it, great hope—hope and faith so large, so ambitious (like the size of an anchor) that God will have to answer it.
Granted, I need to hope and believe that God will do the impossible. He promises in His Word that He can: “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37). If I want proof of the impossible in my own life, He’s already done it, in saving me from my sin. And I need to hope and believe in the very greatest and most ambitious promise of God there is: Jesus Christ returning, bringing both His judgment and His kingdom.
But I’m not sure I need to swell my chest with a prayer to end all prayers, that God would “do this … and this … and this … and bring justice, Lord, and bring peace. And cure cancer while you’re at it.” And so on. To my embarrassment, I’ve discovered that sometimes the big prayers I’ve prayed, with a supposedly big measure of faith, is often a mirror of my ego.
I believe the amount of faith I need is not bigger, but smaller—to help me discover the type of humility God is shaping in me.
Jesus tells me that if I have faith as small as a mustard seed, I can tell this mountain to go from here to there, and it will go. Before, I’ve thought He was admonishing me for not having enough faith. Maybe so, but I’m not so sure that I couldn’t look at it from another angle. What if He was telling me that my puffed up level of faith was not too small, but too large?
I’ve heard in our culture the phrase, “Go big or go home.” Abraham’s obedience to sacrifice his son Isaac may certainly have been such a moment. God had promised the nations (and ultimately Jesus Himself) would come from His line. And now He was asking him to offer his son up in a sacrifice. But was Abraham so concerned about big things at that moment, or in the simple choice to obediently let one die, and another rise?
God delights in small things. Things that are fragile and weak. A baby. A seed. This earth. The King of the universe born in a manger. Jesus’s kingdom started with only twelve disciples. God humbling His Son on a small cross. I think He also delights in small prayers. The ones offered from a vibrant, compact heart conscious of its own frailty.
Perhaps a humble prayer is the kind small enough for God to bend into a hook—to catch someone for His Son, to bring them into His kingdom.