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 in my heart with "The Well." It's a powerful message of promise. The promise that what we are looking for is already found in our hearts.  In the well that lies deep within us. That which lies outside of us, will never fill the void. It will never satisfy the longing, or be the substance of what we really long for.

Last weekend I had an epiphany that dissembled my mental model. I was reading the familiar Scripture from Hebrews:


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


And it was as if four words were "in bold" on the page, so that it looked 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? I was on fire. I was no longer an ember waiting to be ignited, I already had all the evidence I would ever need of God's presence and power. I had faith.

You see, whenever I've been pummeled with doubt, I've been able to remember that the love I feel for our children is not something I could have ever created myself. It is unfathomably divine, beyond my imaginings. It is my "sure sign" that there is a God -- a greater unseen power, called Love. But, to discover that this trust in God is my evidence. Well, it renders 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 trustfulness and trustworthiness, are the very evidence of all the good I have ever been looking for. What I thought I would find in an improved physical, emotional, financial, global situation, was not the evidence at all. My trust in God was -- and is.

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, the outward picture, the evidence, would change.

But the evidence -- of God's presence and power -- is my faith, my trust, in Him. Feeling an abiding, unshakeable trust in His love for His creation was all the evidence I needed to look for. And it is always within me. It is never "out there." It is never something to be gotten.  Whenever I'm tempted to take the pulse of what I can "see," for evidence of God's love, I can immediately turn inward and find my trust.  It's always there.

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 broken heart, I can always start with "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. And more than anything, I want to understand eternal Life.  I want to know why Mary Baker Eddy's last words were, "God is my Life."

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

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

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. That's evidence enough for me.

There's so much more to this insight that is dancing in my heart. 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

4 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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