“I walk by faith and not by sight” 2 Corinthians 5:7. These words are painted on a board that sits atop my kitchen cabinets. It became my theme verse for many years. You might think it was because my faith was so strong and unshakeable that this was my mantra. After all, I had dedicated my life to serving God. I’d given up career options that could have been very lucrative, I’d gone to Bible school instead and become a missionary. But, you would be completely wrong. The opposite was in fact the truth.
My faith was so badly shaken that this verse served as a guiding light to me in my world which had shrunken to the size of my house, the screams and pain of my child and the darkness that seemed to enfold me in hopelessness.
I felt lost, adrift and like nothing made sense any more. When nothing made sense, including God, and darkness surrounded me, I would repeat this verse, “I walk by faith, not by sight.” It assured me that in my darkness and not being able to understand anything, especially God, that IS where faith begins.
Hebrews 11 is the great chapter that spotlights heroes of faith. You’re probably familiar with it. I memorized the first several verses in fourth grade. They are wonderful and encouraging and give us examples to look to of people living out their faith in God with victorious results. But it wasn’t until I was a parent of a child with special needs and life was desperate that I really took note of verses 35b-39 that starts with, “But others…” These “others” lived with just as much faith as those in the first 34 verses but their experiences in life turned out a bit differently “…were tortured…jeered at…cut open with whips…chained in prisons…died by stoning…sawed in half…killed with the sword…destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us.” And if you jump back to v.35, “They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.”
Is God able to conquer armies, close lions mouths, raise the dead, create dry ground where a river had been moments before? Heal our child? Pay for the therapy we can’t afford? Provide a great therapist or school? Yes He IS able. Will He? For some of us, yes. For some of us, no. Do I know why or understand? No. And until the resurrection, I won’t. His thoughts are nothing like my thoughts and are far beyond anything I can imagine (Isa 55:8) But I do know that He has a plan and whether His answer is yes or no, He sees me and He sees you. And until the day when we can see, we can walk by faith and not by sight.
Written by Sarah McGuire, Co-Founder of Hope Anew