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The Man Who Moved a Mountain

By Judith Bronte

Why, you might ask, would anyone ever want to move a mountain? "Maybe", one might say, "to make room for trains. It's been done before." Yes, mountains have made way for men-- men with dynamite and large amounts of manpower. But this is the story of a single man and the mountain who moved out of his way.

In the old days of California, back when the rush for gold was at it's height, there lived an old man and his daughter. They lived modestly in a log cabin that the old man had hewn from the surrounding forest when his arm was stronger and his step more sure. The old man and his daughter led a happy and peaceful life, though they saw few people who would chance the wild and untamed wilderness to just stop in and say "hello".

Once every year the old man and his daughter would go to the trading post at the far edge of the forest. It was a long, tedious journey, mainly because of one, grandiose mountain that stood "smack dab" in the middle of the way to the trading post. The trading post was an important place to mountain folk. There they would trade pelts and beaver skins for sugar, coffee beans, matches, and other necessities. At the trading post you could get your mule shod, and see the people doctor. It took a tough breed of man to live in the mountains. Many times, when medical emergencies occurred, men relied on their knowledge and understanding of herbs and Indian remedies to save their lives. Not always, though, did one know what to do.

One day, as the old man was chopping a small tree for fire wood, he heard the loud scream of his daughter. In great dismay he found her lying beneath the branches of a tall rotted tree that had fallen over because of it's great age. The old man struggled to move the tree off of his daughter's body. He harnessed the mule and tugged at the tree, but, to no avail. Every hour that passed, his daughter grew weaker.

The old man realized that he would need to get help. But there was not a man to be found this side of the mountain. It would take days to go around the great granite mountain, and by then, his daughter would be dead. After trying everything the old man could think of, he desperately grabbed his Bible. His long departed wife had always said that God had an answer for every problem that a man could possibly get himself into. "God, tell me what to do!" he sobbed. "Please, don't let my daughter die!" With trembling fingers, he opened the Bible and since he did not know where to begin, he read a verse at random. It read thus: "Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." (Matthew 17:20) The old man's eyes looked up to heaven. Such a bold request! Who was he to command mountains, and expect them to obey him? It would take more tons of dynamite than the old man could imagine to blow a hole through it, and yet it would only take a single, mustard seed-sized faith to remove it completely. "Lord," he cried, "oh, for a mustard seed!"

The old man took a step forward, his eyes facing that great immovable mountain. Every peak and every stone on it seemed to mock his faith. "You there! You small, weak old man! Who are you to tell me what to do!" it seemed to say.

The old man closed his eyes, repeated "nothing shall be impossible to you" a few times, and then spoke to the mountain. "Mountain, get up and go somewhere else. Jesus said this is possible, so I believe Him." The old man slowly opened his eyes. The great granite mountain had totally moved! The old man knew not where the colossus had gone to, and it mattered not. Before him on the horizon he could see the distant smoke of the trading post. The old man got on his mule and made his way to the trading post with a continuous prayer of thanks on his lips.

The old mountain man had spoken with the authority given him by Jesus, and the impossible had happened. Years afterward, men from all over California would go see the place where a proud mountain had once stood, and wonder at the miracle of a single, mustard seed-sized faith.

"Nothing shall be impossible unto you."
~ Matthew 17:20 ~


You may republish this without permission, provided it remains free, accredited and unaltered. Copyright © 2008 Sarah Fall (aka Judith Bronte).