Often, when I look at my life – myself, my girls, my marriage, my circumstances – all I can see is what things are like now. Sometimes, looking at the ‘now’, I find it hard to think that things might be different in the future, or imagine what it might take to get there.
The other day, I was thinking about faith, and what it means. A verse in Hebrews came to mind – here it is in the amplified version:
Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. Hebrews 11:1 (AMP)
Wow – what an explanation! Comprehending as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses. Romans 4:17 tells us that we serve a God who gives life to the dead, and calls things that are not as though they were. When God as our Father looks at us, He doesn’t just see who we are now. He sees the plans He has for us. He sees His purposes for us. He sees us transformed into the image of His Son.
It may not look like the reality now, but I believe He calls it into being. Can I learn from His Father heart and do the same for my children? I know when I dwell on the past, on mistakes, on failures – when I can’t see beyond the now – then I get stuck there. I know I can wish or hope that things will be different or better, but faith takes it a step further.
I love how Paul describes it in Philippians 1:20 – an eager expectation that he will not be ashamed, but will have complete boldness so that Christ will be exalted in Him. Another translation calls it a ‘confident hope’. And we have so much to be confident in! Confidence to approach His throne to find grace in our time of need. Confidence to know that He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.
I can have this eager expectation and confident hope for my life, my family, my daughters. Through my faith in my loving Father I can look beyond what I see now and say with Paul that even though I have not yet been made perfect, I press on to take hold of what God has prepared for me, my husband and my daughters in Christ.
It’s not easy. It takes faith to keep going through trial and opposition. It takes faith to fix our eyes on Jesus and run with perseverance. It takes faith to earnestly seek God and please Him. And I believe it takes faith to believe God’s word and His promises for us and for our children, but that faith will bear fruit.
This season I planted a bed of peas. I was looking forward to eating pea shoots, snap peas, and shelling sweet green peas with my daughter. I watered the bed in faith, and after a few days my pea plants came up. They were growing so well until the termites came. They ate all my mulch, and nibbled my pea plants right down. I was so sad to see them all small and eaten up – it seemed like such a setback.
I didn’t really know what I could do – why were my peas being attacked when nothing else in the garden was? Should I just give up on them? I didn’t have much hope, but I put on more mulch, and let my daughter plant a row of spring onions in between them to deter pests. I gave them some water and left it at that.
A few days later and my peas were looking as good as new – growing apace to make up for lost time. They are now flowering, and I hope to begin harvesting in a few weeks, and that the harvest will be sweet. Praise God for onions and faith!
Yes, they are just peas, but they remind me of things. That I can have faith that the seed God has planted in our lives will have fruit, and that I will be able to look back after seasons where the locusts have eaten, and be able to praise God for new growth and a good harvest.