I was driving through thick, heavy mist. The mountainous air was cold but my car was warm, and I knew my way home (or at least, my GPS did).
As I drove further in it seemed the street lamps were dancing around me. In fact, the bauble-like lights were all I could see in a sea of soft, willowy grey.
The toll gates were lit up, like the ones at a football stadium. I imagined they were throwing each motorist a heavenly welcome home party.
As I drove further I realised I really couldn’t see very far in front. Maybe a few metres at a time. The road ahead was obscured by more fog descending.
It kind of made me think about faith.
Certainly sometimes we can’t see very far in front. We are a little afraid, but in a sense trusting we’ll be able to see just that little bit further at a time – enough to navigate our way forward safely.
The hard thing is, we don’t know what tragedy or misfortune might take us by surprise. And we sure don’t know if what we’re dreaming of – or what we think we want – will eventuate.
Sometimes we’re on a road of faith where we feel God is leading us in a certain direction, but the pieces of the puzzle don’t seem to be forming. We’re on the path, and we have a rough idea what we think God is saying. But everything seems to be coming against us. And when we try to explain our ‘vision’ or God’s ‘calling’ to people, it just doesn’t seem to make sense.
But we keep trusting.
Or do we? Is it as simple as just ‘trusting’?
The awesome thing about faith, as my pastor said in his sermon today, is that it need not be based on feelings. Faith isn’t a feeling as such, but conviction of the evidence.
So what is the evidence? What are we sure of?
Well, God has proven His love and once-for-all redemption of us, his kids, by sending his son, Jesus:
“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)
He has proven that the power He demonstrated in rising from the dead after enduring the agony of the cross, is alive in us also – so that in whatever he asks us to do, we have his power and strength:
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” (Romans 8:11 NLT)
He has promised to guide me, while at the same time meeting all my needs and enabling me to thrive:
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land, and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)
Do you believe this? That God is who he says he is? He has already done what we needed him to do. We are already redeemed, already secure in a relationship with him. We know he is real. Death has already been conquered. There is really nothing to be afraid of when we’re completely surrendered to him – though of course, we still get scared sometimes, don’t we…
But it kind of helps to remind ourselves of the evidence, doesn’t it? And to also know he’s preparing a home in heaven for us when we’re done…
He is ahead of me on the road I’m driving, making a clearing, bit by bit. Perhaps he hasn’t revealed everything now because he wants me to acknowledge it is indeed a faith journey. Not just to choose the ‘fuzzy feelings’ of generalised faith, but to take a look myself at the evidence of him. Of his promises. I can’t see far ahead for a reason. If I did, I’d probably speed forward in my own strength.
Sometimes we hit patches where it seems clear – things are good. But then the fog descends again, and we start to doubt. Isn’t this the nature of the journey?
God does have a plan for you and me. One that involves our gifts, and our hearts. He’s the king of our hearts, and will lead wisely. Lovingly. We are an integral part of his plan for this broken world. He’s gracious like that. Gracious to fog-ensconsed drivers like me.
And not only that. He promises never to leave me at the wheel. He’ll always be by my side, every bit of the way… Better than any GPS on earth.