Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you (v. 19-20).
I had been feeling like I imagine the disciples felt in that moment – sheepish, ashamed, condemned over failures. I was slinking to Jesus furtively, secretly, to ask, “Why can’t I overcome this inability to have children? What is wrong with me that you won’t answer my prayers? Is it my fault that I haven’t gotten pregnant, because I don’t have enough faith?” Because honestly, I often do have doubts that God can or will work against the odds to cause me to conceive. Three years of infertility, three failed IUIs, and two unsuccessful IVFs loom like my own personal and implacable mountains, and my faith falters in their shadow.
As I brought these bewildered questions and struggles before God, my thoughts suddenly took a turn. When I blame myself and my lack of faith for my infertility, I make faith into a legalistic work that earns me the blessing I want. But it’s not so! Faith is a gift that I depend on the Spirit to give. Do I lack faith that the Lord will give me a child? Yes. So what should I do? Lament that my infertility is all my fault? No! I should ask for more faith! And that is just what I am now seeking to do. In fact, I’m putting a pause on my requests for children instead directing my prayers toward the gift of faith – more faith in the gospel, more faith in the good news that Jesus saves and justifies and sanctifies and satisfies, and more faith that God is sovereign and not bound by infertility statistics. And this is one prayer that I have confidence my Lord will delight to answer.