A small congregation in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains built a new sanctuary on a piece of land willed to them by a church member. Ten days before the new church was to open, the local building inspector informed the pastor that the parking lot was inadequate for the size of the building. They would not be able to use the new sanctuary until the church doubled the size of the parking lot.
Unfortunately, the church had used every inch of their land except for the mountain against which it had been built. In order to build more parking spaces, they would have to move the mountain behind the church.
Undaunted, the pastor announced Sunday morning that he would meet that evening with all members, who had “mountain-moving faith.” They would hold a prayer service asking God to remove the mountain from the back yard and to provide enough money to have it paved and painted before the dedication service.
That evening, 24 of the congregation’s 300 members assembled for prayer. They prayed for three hours.
“We’ll open next Sunday as scheduled,” said the pastor. “God has never let us down before, and I believe He will be faithful this time, too.”
The next morning as he was working in his study, there was a loud knock at his door. When the pastor opened the door, a rough-looking construction foreman appeared.
“Excuse me, Reverend. I’m from the construction company over in the next county. We’re building a new shopping mall over there and we need some fill dirt. Would you be willing to sell us a chunk of that mountain behind the church? We’ll pay for the dirt we remove and pave all the exposed area free of charge, if we can have it right away. We can’t do anything else until we get the dirt in and allow it to settle properly.”
The little church was dedicated the next Sunday as originally planned. There were far more members with “mountain-moving faith” on opening Sunday than there had been the previous week.
The mountain-moving lesson here: Faith is not the absence of doubt. Faith is the presence of belief.
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