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The Need for Mustard Seed Faith in a Pregnancy Center Adobe Stock photo.

The Need for Mustard Seed Faith in a Pregnancy Center

I recently was reading a couple of interrelating pieces regarding the interpretation of Matthew 17:20, “… Jesus told them. I tell you the truth, if you had the faith even as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

The first article gave a theologically proper perspective of how the Bible and Jesus used many methods to communicate at a level we could understand. Metaphors, similes, allegories, examples, and parables were just some of the methods He used. God had to talk “down” to us so we could understand. 

I believe we can all agree that we are not on God’s level, and cannot understand all the ways of God (Job 36:26, How great is God—beyond our understanding! ….) So, it went on to explain that we couldn’t necessarily take a literal view of Matthew 17:20 and ask for mountains to jump from one place to another.  

An example the author used was when Jesus is described as the “door”. Jesus obviously didn’t have a door handle on His body, the scripture was figurative, as Jesus is the way to eternal life. So when He spoke of moving mountains, the author believed that was only figurative as well.

On the other hand, the other article used a cute story or parable if you will, to show how God sometimes works. The story told how a kindergarten teacher who was teaching her class from Matthew 17 and told them of Jesus said faith as small as a mustard seed could move mountains. 

Later, she heard them talking together about a dirt hill that was just behind their classroom that blocked their view of the sun. They began praying that God would move the hill. The teacher was afraid that the children would be crushed when the hill didn’t move. However, the next day, the highway department came to the school and wanted to buy the dirt mound behind the classroom to use as fill for a project they were working on.  

The children were thrilled at the answer to their prayers.  

The author then goes on to tell a second story about a very devout Christian lady who, after hearing her pastor preach on Matthew 17 decided to test the scripture. She went to the window of her house that faced a small mountain and prayed for the mountain to move. After a few minutes, with the mountain remaining in place, she quietly said to herself, “See, I knew it wouldn’t move.”

I don’t know about you, but my problem as an adult is to be like the women in the latter story. I sometimes pray not believing the “impossible” will really happen. When we receive a call from a very abortion-determined girl, we do everything we have been trained to do to get her to come to us for a free ultrasound.  She may make an appointment to come in, or may say she will get back to us, so we immediately start our prayer chain in motion, praying that she will come in.  

But, depending on the conversation with her, there are times in the back of my mind I think, “This one is never going to come in when she realizes she can’t get an abortion here.” I think this even as I pray. I thank God that so many times God overlooks my doubt and brings her in anyway.  

The lesson for me in all of this is to have the faith of the children in the second article. Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

I believe if I have that kind of faith, God will work for our good. He may decide to move a mountain in what appears to be a miraculous manner or use men with bulldozers. His decision and His ways are always higher than ours.  

God, please give us the faith of a child and bring us the abortion-vulnerable, abortion-minded and abortion-determined to our center and then guide our interaction with them as we tell them of Your plans for LIFE for all those You have created.

Gary Smith

Gary Smith is one of the founders of, and is currently the Executive Director, of Hand ‘n Hand Pregnancy Help Center in Barnhart, Missouri. It has been his pleasure to serve in this ministry of his Lord and Savior for over 19 years.