This morning was particularly foggy! I’ve had several such mornings, but for whatever reason, today I felt much more vulnerable as I strained to see past the end of the hood. I found myself wishing for a nice bus route through town with all the attendant street lights and fairly well marked intersections.
Out in the country, there are multiple turns that are hard enough in the reduced visibility of darkness, but with the pressing fog, I felt myself desiring a really long red-tipped cane or a seeing-eye dog to hang out of my window…. to no avail.
At one place on my route, I have a very dark hard left-hand turn that drops off on a single paved track between heavy trees and a massive stone sign. What I would do for some light offering security as I drop into the grade and hold my breath waiting for the headlights to sweep and catch up, confirming the pavement that I know is there, but can’t see. (Who is the knucklehead that put the kibosh on Tucker’s invention of headlights that follow the steering wheel?? Okay, so it wasn’t entirely Tucker’s idea, but that is another story..)
And, as I make the turn with some trepidation, I think of ‘faith.’
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.
How much like driving a bus in the fog is the walk of faith.
I know where the road is. I’ve driven this route twice a day for nearly two months now. Yet, turning a 33,000 pound machine with 20 some passengers into a blind spot makes me tighten my grip on the wheel and hold my breath. And, therein is the faith. I do it anyway, not seeing the road, but knowing it is there.
In our daily walk we strain to see past the hood and long for headlights that cut through it all so we can ‘see’ a month or five years ahead, yet often the ‘fog’ of circumstances and events can suddenly reduce our visibility such that we have to lean on the One who knows. In His Word we have principles and truths as well as promises that we have lived before and know to be there, yet in our darkest hours, we can’t ‘see’ very far ahead. We are forced to ‘drop’ into a sharp left-hand turn on a single track that takes our breath away… and, we find Faith.
I can think back to many such times in my life where He has been faithful, even when I could not see the road ahead. He has given very specific answers to very specific prayers, yet never early enough for me to rest in my own understanding. The ‘substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…’
By (faith) the men of old gained approval!
… faith without works is dead.
I can believe the road on the left is there, but until I turn the steering wheel and gently mash the accelerator, I have no faith. It is only when we step out in what we know to be true, even though we may not be able to see the path, that we have faith. The work of stepping out evidences the faith. Proves it to be alive!
The men of old ‘gained approval by faith.’ They walked, not seeing the fulness of what they followed after. Remember,
6 Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. (Interestingly, the Targum Onkelos says, he believed in ‘the Word of the Lord’ or the Memra!!)
What was the evidence of Abraham’s faith? Action! Genesis 26:5 sums up all we see in the previous 14 chapters,
5 because Abraham [a]obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws (Torah).
As my route came to a close a beautiful rosy sunrise slowly spread across the horizon chasing the fog and I could again see way down the road. I thanked the Father for safety and pondered the illustration He had impressed about faith.
His paths are true and no matter how foggy life may be, we can rest assured that the road is there and He has all things well in hand. Nothing escapes Him and the end has been revealed from the beginning. We have only to walk in it knowing the great Hope that comes with the dawning of the Eighth Day!