The Faith of a Five-Year-Old

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“And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith ; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move ; and nothing will be impossible to you”. (Matthew 17:20)




Hunter was five when he came to live with us that autumn.


His 20-year-old mom, Debra, had been evicted from their apartment next door and was going to be living in a car with her boyfriend.


At first, I had told her no when Debra asked if I would keep Hunter. I was afraid of the legal ramifications and didn’t want something to happen for which I would be held liable.


Yet, as Debra walked out my door, I knew that I had made the wrong decision. She was tearfully thankful as I told her I’d changed my mind.


The next six weeks were memorable to say the least. Things rocked along amazingly smooth, until Hunter came home from school with a high fever. His pale skin seemed more sallow and the circles under his eyes grew deeper. I wasn’t really sure what to do.


Money was especially tight in those days and I knew that Hunter wouldn’t be covered under our meager insurance. As I prayed about the problem, I was reminded of the verse calling the elders to anoint the sick with oil.


We were attending a very conservative church at the time and I knew our deacons didn’t include anointing in their visitation rounds. The only oil I had in the house was 100% vegetable, but I decided I’d get started as Hunter seemed to be getting worse. It was going to be quite some time before my husband got home from work.


Now, I have to admit that my faith in the whole process was pretty shaky – yet, I did believe that God was my only Hope. Desperately, I carried the oil-soaked cloth to Hunter’s bedside.


I told Hunter that I was concerned about him and was going to be praying for him to get better. He’d been praying with us at meals and bedtime so he nodded his head weakly as I began to stroke his forehead with the cloth.


The prayer itself was nothing special. I rambled about Hunter’s need and claimed some simple verses about God’s power over all. I stumbled with my words and finally opened my eyes when I ran out of verbiage altogether.


I was surprised to see Hunter looking back up at me, waiting as it were for his turn to speak.


“I’m gonna be well now, huh? I like it when God talks.”


As I stared a little dumbfounded, Hunter added, “You did hear Him, didn’t you? He said I’d be getting better, now.”


And I watched in amazement as that is just what happened. But, it wasn’t my faith that restored him. It was his own tiny kernel that was just the right size.