For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5: 7 was in my mind this morning as I woke up after a troubled night. My younger son, Dylan, came into our room around 2am complaining of some sort of pain. We had a rough time trying to first, figure out what was going on, then, trying to make him understand that he needed to go to the bathroom. He was so confused, half-asleep, and panicky that he would not listen to us and rather just cry in fear. Finally, after much “encouraging” a visit to the bathroom did make things better… “Trust us” Dan and I said to him. “We would never do anything to hurt you, so when we tell you to do something, don’t be afraid. It may hurt a little, but after it is over, you will feel better.”
As I tried to deal with Dylan’s despair and panicky reaction to his own fears, I thought of myself. I have panicky reactions all the time. My fears make me lose control almost on a daily basis. The waves, the wind, the mountains, the fires, the news, the test results, the anticipation are all I see. My anxiety rises uncontrollably at the sight of real or imagined danger. I go crazy at the sight of trouble. It is exhausting.
Then, the Word comes and puts things into perspective. The Word comes, and makes us think. The Word comes and calms us down.
What does it mean to live by faith, not by sight?
To me, it means that I need to live by the promises of God and by His Word, not by what I see around me.
The enemy, however, prowls around me like a roaring lion (1Peter 5:8). He tries to trip me and make me stumble at every turn. He watches me closely, armed with my weaknesses; he pocks me with them every time I get distracted.
The One who never leaves me nor forsake me, however, is bigger than my enemy,
…because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1John 4: 4
Therefore, I live by faith and not by what I see that frightens me. Often times, things are not what they seem. Regardless of the ominous sights that surround us; God’s plan always prevails. Even if the odds seem against us, God’s designs are perfect. Let’s not fear God’s plan for us. It is meant to prosper us, to benefit us and to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29: 11).
And even though we may be walking through the valley of the shadow of death, we shall fear no evil for His hand is with us, His rod and His staff protect us all the days of our lives (Psalm 23). And when it is all over, we know where we are going.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 2 Corinthians 5: 1-5
Dylan finally fell asleep, comforted by the thought that he can actually trust us. I pray that we can all rest in our trust on the Lord, the author and refiner of our faith, the One to whom the winds and the waves obey. And that faith becomes our guiding principle, regardless of the sights around us.