Not By Sight

path2

I went to the doctor for a physical earlier this week. Unlike my freshman college calculus class, I passed this test with flying colors. I also learned that I have 20/13 vision. Unsure if that was good, bad, or meant that I was living a couple of years in the past, I asked the nurse for some clarification. She informed me that my vision was “better than perfect,” as if that’s really a thing. Upon further research, apparently I can see at 20 feet what the average person can see only at 13 feet.

So I can see really well. Which is awesome–until I remember that walking faithfully has nothing to do with what I can see (2 Corinthians 5:7).

One of my favorite illustrations regarding walking faithfully is found in Psalms 119:105:

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

God’s word will illuminate my way, telling me where to and where not to step. Encouraging, right? Well, sort of. The object used in the illustration is a lamp, which would be the ancient equivalent of a flashlight. However, whereas the modern flashlight projects a concentrated beam quite a distance ahead, the ancient lamp didn’t have that ability. You know what a lamp in this context would illuminate? The next step. Not the end of the path, not the desired destination–just the next step.

Here’s the deal: being able to see at 20 feet what most people can only see at 13 feet means nothing when the lamp only lights the way for the next 3 feet.

And so we walk by faith, not by sight. Sometimes it’s more like stumbling or crawling, but by God’s grace we progress by faith–not by faith in the path or by faith in the destination, but by faith in the One who lights the way, one painfully slow step at a time.

Advertisements

Don’t Waste Your Wait

waiting

Tom Petty once sang that “the waiting is the hardest part.” Have truer words ever been spoken?

We don’t like waiting. We use microwaves. We take alternate routes to avoid traffic. We waste five minutes trying to find the shortest checkout line. As I write this, Kelli and I are waiting for our second son to arrive literally any day and the wait is just painful at this point (quite literally for her). Waiting really is the hardest part.

In case you missed it, we got our first ever up-close images of Pluto this week. Far more fascinating to me than the images themselves is the story behind those images. In 2006 NASA launched its New Horizon spacecraft to capture the images of Pluto. Nearly ten years later, New Horizon reached its destination, snapped a few pictures, and called it a day decade. In case you missed that, let me reiterate. Ten. Years. Later. No lengthy layovers. No breakdowns. No leisurely Sunday afternoon drive—at times New Horizon topped out at over 30,000 miles per hour. Just a three-billion mile direct flight. And it took ten years to get there. (Side note: Is anyone else blown away by the vastness of God’s creation?)

For ten years NASA has waited for these images. How many people forgot about New Horizon in those ten years? How many people simply lost interest or gave up? How many people got tired of waiting? I’m certainly not pointing fingers–I give up in frustration when my wifi connection is slow. But on the flip-side, how rewarding were the images for those who have been waiting for the last decade? Can you imagine finally experiencing the fruit of something you invested your life in ten years ago? (I suppose many veteran parents are saying “yes” right now, but hang with me.)

There’s something redemptive about waiting. I’m not wise enough to know what it is, but there’s something to it. There’s a reason that God encourages us to “be still” (Ps. 46:10). There’s a reason that patience is included as a fruit of the Spirit. There’s a reason Jeremiah wrote, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lam. 3:25-26)

As much as it hurts to type, I think waiting might be good for us.

But we don’t like waiting, do we? So we sit in the waiting room trying to pass the time with smartphones and outdated magazines, meanwhile God is begging for our attention! Could it be that he’s trying to speak to us in our waiting? I don’t know. Maybe.

It seems natural to ask you “what are you waiting for?” But could it be that a better question would be “what is your waiting for?”

If we really believe that “for those who love God all things work together for good” God has you (and me) waiting for a reason.

Don’t waste your wait.