The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.
By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God. Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-10 | MSG
For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 | ESV
Is it “God is nowhere” or “God is now here”?
How do you read it? What do you see?
Perhaps the answer depends on how hard life is – or how easy. It can be much easier to see the unseen God at a mountaintop retreat than it is in a concentration camp – though, ironically, prisoners in a death camp often end up with the most powerful epiphanies of the divine rather than wealthy vacationers sitting on their exalted balconies.
Hebrews 11 asserts that faith is the lens through which the unseeable is seen. And acted upon. Which is a problem in a pragmatic, “show-me-the-money” age that exalts doubt as the greatest virtue and sees faith as childish or, worse, dangerous; a culture that values “a bird in the hand” over “two in the bush.”
It was to a couple in just such a culture that the invisible God showed up with the life-changing charge to “get up, leave all that you see, all that you know, all that you trust, all that you lean upon, and go to the place I will show you.” This is not just the starting point in the journey of Abraham and Sarah, or even of the grand narrative of redemption and reconciliation that ultimately issues in Christ – it’s the starting point for each of us.
There are two primary ways through which we approach life under the sun: faith or sight. We generally live with a mixture of the two, but one will finally predominate and shape us. We either rest in the security of the seen or we find the handle on what we can’t see. To journey with the great patriarchs and matriarchs in the Genesis story is to see them grapple with the same fundamental quandary we face in our own journey: faith or sight? “God is now here” or “God is nowhere.”
They found the handle on the unseen.
The question is, have we?
G-O-D-I-S-N-O-W-H-E-R-E. Is it “God is nowhere” or “God is now here”? How do you read it?
What do you see in your own life and in the wide world? Just how visible is the invisible God to you?
Unseen God, let me find the handle on the unseen today so that I may truly see – and be utterly changed in the seeing. Through Christ.