Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Things Not Seen

It’s a white world where I live. Earlier this week we had something like a foot and a half of snow fall in a matter of hours. I woke up to two hours of shoveling. My back is still feeling it.

But this morning I was out on the road again for my very early morning walk, which was a little slower going than usual. I guess the City has to prioritize where the plows go first. Many parked cars on my street were still under so much of the white stuff that you couldn’t tell the difference between an SUV and a sedan. You also couldn’t tell where the sidewalks were, or the fire hydrants, or many of the usual landmarks.

They were all still there of course. You just couldn’t see them.

And I got to thinking faith is a little bit like that. There is the underlying spiritual reality, which remains the same no matter what, and doesn’t change or disappear whether we are able to see it clearly or not. Then there is our human apprehension of it, which from time to time may be just a little bit obscured and fuzzy. There’s a layer of interference that keeps us from seeing as clearly and fully we long to see.

Maybe our studies in the scripture or our interaction with other believers have led us to question assumptions held for years. Maybe we are struggling with depression or grief. Maybe we are overwhelmed or discouraged by difficult circumstances, confused by erroneous doctrine, or misled by questionable leadership or the unChristlike conduct of Christians we looked to as examples. Maybe we’ve just let ourselves become too busy and have gotten away from regular prayer and fellowship with the Lord. Distraction can do that.

Maybe we’re just plain COVID-ed out.

Whatever the cause, I think we all have moments when the things of heaven seem very far off indeed; when the relentless materiality of our daily surroundings makes the truths we profess to believe seem like artefacts of another world. At least I do.

But faith provides the bridge between appearance and reality. The object of our faith has not disappeared. He’s right there where he always was. The truths in which we have put our trust have not changed in any essential way. There’s just a foot or two of snow — or whatever it may be — that’s gotten in the way.

And we northerners know what needs to be done with a layer of snow.

Right. Start digging.

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