Thursday, January 17, 2013

"the evidence..."


"All who thirst
will thirst no more.
And all who search
will find
what their souls long for.

The world will try,
but it can never fill.
So leave it all behind,
and come to the well."



Casting Crowns hit another home run with "The Well." It's a powerful message of promise -- that what we are looking for is already found deep within us. 


What lies outside of us, will never fill the void, and will never be the substance of what we are really searching for.

Last weekend I had an epiphany. I was reading the familiar Scripture from Hebrews:


"Now, faith is the substance
of things hoped for,
the evidence of things
not seen."


And as I read it, it seemed as if four words were "in bold" on the page, so that it looked something like this:


"Now, faith is the substance
of things hoped for,
the evidence of things
not seen."



I could barely catch my breath. How was it possible that I'd not seen this before? All this time I'd been looking for evidence -- it had been there all along.

But I am getting ahead of myself.  That day I'd been feeling a bit discouraged.  I'd been praying about a persistent challenge, and the evidence of healing wasn't apparent.     


Looking down at that Scripture, and suddenly realizing that "faith" is the only evidence I needed to look for -- or be concerned with finding -- took my breath away.  Faith is defined as "trust in the unseen."  I had no doubt that I trusted in the unseen power of God -- of Love.   And to discover that this trust in God was the evidence... Well, it rendered me speechless.

To have faith in the substance of the unseen -- by its very nature -- requires trust. In fact, Mary Eddy reminds us, in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, that

"In Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English, faith and the words corresponding thereto have these two definitions, trustfulness and trustworthiness."

So, this would mean that my trustfulness in God and in His trustworthiness, were the evidence of good I'd been looking for.  The evidence -- or proof -- I thought I'd find in an improved physical, emotional, financial, global situation, was not the evidence at all. My deepening trust in God was -- and is.  I could rest my search.

For so long, I had been thinking of faith as a means to an end. In other words: I had faith, I trusted God, and because of this trust, the outward picture -- the evidence -- would change or improve.

But my faith, my trust in God, was already the evidence I'd long been seeking. Feeling an abiding, unshakeable trust in His love for His creation was all the evidence I needed. And it is always within me. It is never "out there." It is never something to be gotten.  It is never something to be found.  Whenever I'm tempted to look at what I am able to see/hear/feel as the evidence of God's love, I can stop and  immediately turn inward to realize my always-present trust in Him.

I feel like I am "lisping in numbers" here. There are no words to explain the deep peace and joy this has brought to my heart, my work, and my life.

Whether I am looking at my body, our balance sheet, the geo-political climate, the changing environment, or a once-broken heart, I can always stop and re-focus. I need to start with the more important question, "do I have faith in God, do I trust?" If my honest answer is "Yes," I have all the evidence I need.

My understanding of God's nature -- which is the basis of my trust in Him -- is all that will ever be eternally mine. I want to understand eternal Life.  I want to know why Mary Baker Eddy's last words were, "God is my Life."

A longer timeline in this chapter of my life story is not the evidence that will sustain me eternally. A better body, financial abundance, the right house, a perfect marriage, obedient children, professional success are lovely, but they are not eternal.

They are not the evidence I am seeking. They are, like the wake behind a boat.  They come along. But, they say nothing about my faith in the unseen. They tell me nothing about my trust in God, or my understanding of Him. And it is knowing Him and my trust in what He is to me, that is the only evidence I am taking into eternity.

I think of Jesus from the summit of the cross. He didn't demonstrate his release from Pilate's captivity or the Pharisees' hatred. He didn't heal Judas of betrayal, or Peter of his denial. He wasn't able to keep his friends awake in Gethsemane, or protect his mother from the agony of watching her son crucified, but none of these things could undermine his trust in his Father's love for him. If that was evidence enough for him, it's evidence enough for me.

There's so much more to this insight that I don't have words for.  This Scripture is dancing in my heart tonight. And I've just run out of words. I feel like I am starting from scratch. Reading the Bible and Science and Health feels like a new adventure in what it really means to simply know and trust God -- with all my heart, and soul, and mind.

with the substance of faith,

Kate

5 comments:

  1. You have helped sustain me through many dark moments.
    Today, you put words to what I've been feeling........
    such a sweet gift !
    [to Have words to describe what Is]

    Thank you.

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  2. I hope He continues to reach out to you, and that you will continue to respond.

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  3. Ahhh...like fresh, cold water on a hot day. Thank you :)

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  4. Profound, I am pondering this again and again. Thank you.

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  5. How sweet of you to repost this article since it coordinates SO well with this week's lesson! Thank you!

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