Imagine waking up at night having never seen the day before. Would you believe someone who told you the sun would rise in the morning at a predetermined time?
That’s what faith is like. We’ve never seen Heaven. We only know a world full of darkness. When God tells us that we will someday be in paradise at a set time, do we believe Him?
It’s hard to believe something will happen when we’ve never seen it happen before. It causes a lot of anxiety in our lives. If even when we see life happen to others, we don’t always believe it will happen for ourselves, how will we then believe that someday we will be in Heaven?
I have been thinking lately about how when we believe smaller promises on earth, it’s easier to believe in Heaven. When we receive good gifts from God, we get in the state of mind to receive more goodness from God. But what happens when the gift is missing? When what we lose amounts to more than what we gain?
The minute faith gets hard, the more precious it becomes. The more we must run after it. The more we must stretch it everyday and shoulder the risk of losing it. And yet the more we risk losing it, the more opportunity God has to reestablish it and make it stronger than before.
It’s no coincidence that the unknown author of Hebrew writes, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). When we can’t see but still believe, that’s when our faith actually has meaning and power. That’s when it’s actually faith. If we believe we already have what we hope for, that’s not faith; that’s logic. But if uncertainty expands beyond our logic, so must our faith.
I feel the delight of my faith often when it comes to food. 🙂 I was trying to make a quesadilla, but as I stacked my cheese on, I found mold growing on the tortilla. Uh oh! I didn’t like that. I moved the cheese onto white bread and settled for something different. Now I wanted to make an egg with it, but the minute I cracked the egg, the yolk broke. (It’s one of my biggest pet peeves when the yolk breaks.) At this point I was feeling pretty disappointed with my breakfast.
However, once I threw the egg on my cheesy bread and added spices and guacamole and sour cream and onions, it was so much better than I had initially planned. I enjoyed it so much that I made it again today and purposely used white bread and a broken egg.
Yesterday’s breakfast wasn’t what I had hoped for, but it was so much better.
These moments enhance my faith. I know that I can’t control the results of what I set out to do, and maybe I won’t get what I want or expect, but God knows exactly what will happen. I believe that God has planned many good surprises for when things don’t work out. Why do we hold so tightly to one image of a good life? That’s a gift-centered life. However, it’s not about what gift we will receive, but it’s about trusting the goodness of the Giver.
I don’t know what Heaven will be like or even what life will be like, but I trust that the Creator of Heaven and life is good, and everything He makes is more wonderful than I can imagine. Even when the losses pile up and the worst case scenarios occur, eventually the good will far exceed the bad. Eventually it’ll all be worth it.
Here is a glimpse of my thoughts on faith. I often have feelings that don’t align with them, but it doesn’t change their truth value. We are all invited to believe and re-believe in God’s goodness, and we are never too far from God to receive the grace that is faith in Jesus. God is always ready for us. All He asks is that we believe.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16