On seeing what we cannot see.
One cold and snowy February day, I embarked on a day of solitude, which I try to incorporate into the rhythms of life. I find it important to spend time meditating on God’s Word and hearing His voice as I break away the clutter and distraction of daily life. As part of this day I decided to take a hike up to the Goat Hill Overlook in Lambertville NJ, which is a beautiful river town on the banks of the Delaware.
As I neared the top of the hill and approached the overlook, I had to laugh, as the fog was so thick that the view was completely obscured. It occurred to me that life is like that many times and some might think most of the time. This was not my first walk to the top of this hill; I had seen the view, and knew that it actually did exist, and if someone else had been with me, I could have described it to them, giving them a glimpse of the beauty that was on the other side of this cloud. As a follower of Jesus, we are called to this type of task, to share with others who sevision has been obscured and have yet to see and experience His glory and eternal blessings.
Another thought which came to me on that hill is that even when we don’t see clearly, we have evidences of God’s truth available to us, and his love, grace, and presence encourage us along the way. We learn of these things through other Christ followers sharing with us their own journey as well as through the reading and mediation of Scriptures. Not only that, our Lord Jesus Himself came to us, the Word made flesh, and proclaimed the wonders and beauty of the Kingdom of God, granting us a greater picture of this truth, hope, and eternal glory.
The writer of Hebrews identifies this ability to “see” as faith. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Heb. 11:1). He then gives multiple examples of those whose lives were marked by a living faith which stood until the day they died. (11a) The scripture reads: “They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.” (11b)
As I stood on that hill that day looking over the edge into what appeared to be nothingness in the distance, I recalled the times before when I stood in this very place which gave me confidence of what was on the other side of obscurity, but there were also other indicators as well. Through this the deep fog, I could hear the rushing sounds of the Delaware River below. God has made Himself known to us both in His word as well as His creation. (Ps 19, Rom 1:20)
Although I could not see it, there was no doubt in my mind that there was a town below with its buildings with a two-laned bridge crossing the Delaware to the city of New Hope.
In the same way, we have a God who has revealed himself to us in His Word and in His son Jesus, offering us a “New Hope.” He has given us the witness of other believers as well as that of the saints throughout history who have lived faithfully unto the Lord. We also have the extravagant gift of his Holy Spirit Who powerfully enlightens the eyes of our heart (Eph 1:18) that we may know the hope to which He has called us, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.