Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Faith That Can Move Mountains. . .

There once was a place called Sunrise Home.

       The name didn't quite fit the place, because there was a large, dark mountain that blocked out all of the fresh sunshine that tried to get in. But still, it was a good place; a place that gave orphaned, Japanese girls a new and safe chance at life.

       One day a young mother came with four little children. The youngest was only a baby with a very bad case of tuberculosis. The father had been killed in an earthquake; their home had been demolished and they had lost everything they owned. So they came to Sunrise Home, hoping for shelter. The Home was not really meant to be for families, but Irene Webster-Smith, the missionary who ran it, decided to make an exception when she saw their hungry, frightened eyes, and the poor, sick baby. That baby needed a doctor, and quickly, so he was whisked away to a hospital.

       Over the next few weeks, the baby got weaker and weaker. The doctor did all that he could, but at last, he decided it would be best to take the baby back to the Sunrise House where he could be with his mother. The mother was so happy to be reunited with her child, but the baby needed sunshine and fresh air. And that big, black mountain blocked it all out. Irene wished so badly that she could get rid of that old mountain.

      "Children," she said, to the girls at Sunrise Home. "Let's move this mountain ourselves! We can work at it a shovelful at a time."
       And so, they all set to work with buckets and shovels, pots and spoons; whatever they could lay hands on that would scoop away the dirt. They worked all day long, but at supper time, as Irene sadly surveyed their work, they hadn't even made a dent in the massive side of the mountain.

       The next day, Irene had to go away on a trip, to meet with the head of her mission. The girls cheerfully told her that they would keep on with the digging while she was gone. Irene smiled, knowing how futile their attempts were, but nodded. As she told the children goodbye, she suggested that they pray about the mountain. There was no harm in asking.

       At first, the children really didn't know how to ask God about something like this. Move a mountain? There was just no way that was happening. But then, one little girl prayed, "Lord Jesus, last Sunday we heard that if we had faith like a grain of mustard seed, we could move mountains. Please, Lord, help us move our mountain."
Then another one prayed: "Dear God, you said we could move a mountain into the sea. The sea is only just across the road right here. Please, Lord, take our mountain and put it in the sea."

       Irene's trip took longer than she expected. When she finally got back to Sunrise Home, the girls were outside waiting for her. They took her hands, giggling, jumping up and down, and told her to close her eyes. Irene was bewildered as they led her by the hands around to the front of Sunshine Home, and warned her not to peek.
       "Now open them!" the girls cried. And when Irene did, she was dumbfounded. The mountain....was gone. She took several steps forward, staring in disbelief at the spot where a mountain had so recently stood. There was no trace of it.
       "What happened?" Irene finally stammered.

       The children ecstatically told her about a huge truck that had come, filled with workers; and how they had swarmed out over the mountain like ants with pickaxes, and shovels, and wheelbarrows, loading up the dirt. Truckload after enormous truckload they had hauled away. Finally one of the assistants  at Sunrise Home couldn't stand it any longer, and so she went up and asked what in the world was going on. They needed dirt to fill in an area for a children's playground, the workers explained. They needed this mountain.

       Irene turned to look at her girls, and she thanked the God who had moved their mountain for them. The sunshine was streaming down over their happy faces and warming their bare arms and legs; it trickled it's way over the grass and into the open windows of Sunrise Home.

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