Thursday, November 6, 2014

Delays, Detours, and Distance

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for… All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and stranger on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country -- a heavenly one. There God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. ~ Hebrews 13: 1, 13-16

Can we persevere in spite of delays, detours, and distance?

Ancient believers were commended for that very thing. Along their sojourns delays, detours, and distance seemed to thwart the possession of things God promised, but when their hearts stopped, and their very last breath gasped through pale lips, their faith was still alive and well. Their outward man perished while clinging to the belief that they would receive all God had promised.

Surrounded by a world that validated only what the physical senses could confirm, the ancients were different. How so? Physical evidence was subjugated to a greater proof -- faith. Their contemporaries looked down upon them with pity and disdain, but those ancients looked upward with unshakable confidence and hope. Un-blinded faith revealed a universe that faith-blinded eyes could not see.

Nothing has changed. Faith that pleases God must live with the exhilaration and tension that the complete fulfillment of all God guaranteed -- for the meantime -- is subject to delays, detours, and distance. Here, in this unsure and uncertain world we, like the ancients, are strangers. But we keep our gaze fixed forward in faith, and constantly move forward toward a better place. Delays, detours, and distance only serve to remind us that we ache for a world just beyond our grasp. But faith keeps us reaching.

And like the ancients we keep the faith. And though we wrestle with the delays, detours, and distance, God is not ashamed to be called our God... 

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