Hold up a baby so his feet just barely touch and he makes little walking motions that anticipate the day when he will walk and run. I believe our capacity for faith is immature and poorly formed like that. One day, with the coming of a new, perfect heaven and earth, we will use faith as naturally and effectively as we use our other senses. We will go from being held aloft and coaxed to sprinting and dancing.
Faced with His disciples inability to help a demon-possessed boy, Jesus said,
… “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? ….” (Matthew 17:17b)
I think Jesus’ expression of frustration was due to His full awareness of how poorly formed and limited our capacity for faith is in this corrupted world. When asked why they couldn’t do what He did to help the boy,
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.” (Matthew 17:20)
Jesus, I believe, was yearning for the day when His followers would apply faith as naturally and powerfully as He. For now, although our attempts are comparatively immature and weak, we are meant to keep at it, gradually strengthening our “faith muscles.” As we do, our Father holds us up. He smiles and dreams of the day we will walk and run by faith.