I am currently watching a very dear friend fall in love. Have you ever had the chance to watch this process? Or perhaps walked through it yourself? Although the end result is not always what we might hope. The beginning demands an acceptance of an idea from each of its participants. This idea is both nurtured and strangled by our culture, past experiences, thoughts, emotions, and belief systems. For some reason “falling in love”, is an idea that our culture not only whimsically allows but pushes upon us. It is FAITH.
Our culture and social settings encourage us to fall in love. The movies we watch, songs we sing, and media we see constantly tell us that it is okay to walk knowingly into love a little blind. In fact, we expect it. So, we all take the proverbial “flying leap of faith” and fall in love, even when it doesn’t make sense, even when we cannot put it in a box and explain all of the questions, even when we cannot guarantee what the next 24 hours or 24 years will bring.
Faith in a Box
Faith fuels our culture’s romance. For one lovely moment, we do not demand to know everything, but instead allow faith to do what it does best — bring hope. But like with most things, our society segregates and divides, promoting truth in parts, but not the whole. It makes the gray divide between the black and white of truth more blinding. Then come the questions about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
Our culture makes no room for faith when it comes to these things. We first demand that we have a full understanding of all things “religious” before we can make our informed decision. We tell God that once we have all of the pieces of His puzzle put together, then we will decide if we will fall in love with Him. But what does scripture tell us about salvation?
Ephesians 2:8 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
So, the one thing that God asks of us to make salvation complete, our faith, is the one thing we refuse to give him. Because I can’t see it or put it in a box or into some everlasting equation, I walk away and wonder why I have doubts about God and what He is all about.
Faith in Hebrews
So why this conversation when we are talking about Hebrews? During my meditations in Hebrews, of course I stopped on one of the most widely known verses in the New Testament.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Have you ever asked God why it is that the one thing He asks us to give Him is the one thing that we cannot see? I have. Lots of times. But as I sat with Him in Hebrews, having prayed through the first 10 chapters in a way that I have never done before I began to hear myself say things like:
“Lord, I can’t see you, but I know you.”
“I can’t explain you, but I know you.”
“I can’t put you in a box, but I know you.”
As I began to pray through the beautiful testimonies of the men and women who have gone before us in Chapter 11, I suddenly found my eyes targeted on Hebrews 12:1-2:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”
Why is the one thing that is required of me the one thing that I cannot see and cannot control? What is it about faith that pierces our hearts like the sound of nails clawing a chalkboard? Faith puts me in a position of surrender, to relinquish control and say that I want to love anyway. It takes my eyes off the one who cannot see and cannot control, and on to the one who can. Faith does not demand that God explain Himself. It does demand that I accept that He is God and I am not. In that leap, I get to fall in love with a God who knows me and who makes Himself known to me.
Amanda May lives in Round Rock, Tx with her husband, Colby, and two sons, Carter and Coen. She is a pediatric physical therapist, helps her husband with his non-profit company (LIT), a worshiper, and just longs to know and talk about the truths of our good God.