by David Phelps

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” - Mother Teresa

February, 1997

One day, our four-year-old daughter, Monica, asked me, "Daddy, how does God make mountains?"

I thought for a moment about the best way to answer. We were in the bathroom at the time, so I took a washcloth and laid it flat on the edge of the bathtub. I put my hands palms-down on the cloth and slowly pushed the edges together until a ridge formed down the center. "See," I said, "God pushes the ground together, and it comes up in the middle, and that's how God makes mountains." (Incidentally, if you know something about geology, you know this is a fairly accurate description of how mountains are formed.)

Afterward, I thought to myself, Wow, I'm good! I also thanked God for giving me the wisdom to answer Monica's question, and for her simple, childish faith: If there were mountains, then God must have made them. They didn't evolve, they didn't just happen, God made them. Jesus said our faith can move mountains: "'but even if you say to this mountain, "Be taken up and cast into the sea," it will be done. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.'" (Matt. 21:21b-22 RSV).

There are people around us who have mountains in their lives, mountains that need to be moved: Mountains of anguish, mountains of bitterness, mountains of anger. Mountains of sin. The same God who makes geological mountains can also move personal, emotional and spiritual mountains. More important, through our witness, our faith can also move human hearts, and turn souls to Christ. All we need is the faith to believe that God can perform wondrous works through us.

"'Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.'" (Luke 18:16b-17 RSV.)


Copyright © 1997 by Maplewood UMC