Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Hebrews 11:1-7 (NRSV)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away that “he had pleased God.” And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith.
Have you ever been on a glass bridge? The Skywalk Bridge at the Grand Canyon National Park is 700 feet above the canyon floor. Visitors who walk out on this glass-bottomed platform report that it’s beautiful and terrifying at the same time.
In your mind, you know the glass will support you and that the structure is completely safe. But your gut isn’t as convinced as your mind. Visitors report an increase in heart rate. Some sweat a bit. Many try not to look down at their feet, which seem to be suspended in midair.
Glass-bottomed bridges are a good metaphor for faith. Faith is “the conviction of things not seen” or “the evidence of things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1, NLT). Walking on glass means we can’t see what supports us. What we do see are the dangers below—financial difficulties, broken relationships, overwhelming addictions, failing health…. We grasp the “cables” that give us comfort (God’s Word) or maybe we crawl on our knees (prayer).
Faith is not something we somehow drum up by sheer nerve or by drowning out the noise of doubts and other voices. No, faith is a way of seeing that what’s under our feet, though it appears transparent, is actually the solid rock of Christ. Faith is walking on glass, fully conscious of the dangers below, but believing that God will not let us down. Over the centuries, millions of people have discovered that faith is enough, that it is the tangible surface of the path of life.
There are times, precious Savior, when our hearts ache and our souls wander and we are full of doubts. We see the dangers and become afraid. Even so—or especially so—we lean on you, God of us all. Help us to listen for your assurance. Amen.
Go with God.