“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.” ~Hebrews 11:1-2
We live in a world where the apparently impossible has become possible. How do you think Columbus would have responded to a GPS or Davy Crockett to an IPhone? We have ultrasounds and MRIs and microwaves and frozen lasagna and programmable wash machines and robots that clean our floors and cars with AC…pioneers in covered wagons teleported into the future would stand with mouths agape at the conveniences we now feel entitled to have.
But they had something we struggle to grasp: faith in an unseen God. I think that in spite of our vast knowledge and our ability to seemingly create miracles through science, we find it difficult to fathom that there is Someone who is still in control of everything. The ancients (and the pioneers) had the skill of self-sufficiency along with the ability to acknowledge God. This certainly does not mean they were all genuine believers, repentant and saved by grace alone, but there was an openness to faith in those centuries that we are lacking in ours.
I don’t know about you, but when I read about Gladys Aylward and other heroes of the faith, I stand in awe! “Wow! Such faith!” I often think. “I would like God to work mightily in my life like that.” Instead, I can only see the questions I wrestle with as the tragedy and evil and every day frustrations threaten to consume me. But “faith is being sure of what we hope for.” Jesus said ask and it will be given, seek and we will shall find, knock and the door will be opened.
Even in an age of gadgets, instant answers and medical wonders, we can still have faith. Faith to believe that God is in control when we are jolted by the realization that we are not; faith to knock on unopened doors; and faith to seek God when people say He doesn’t exist.