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“Faith is a leap into a story, not a walk in the dark.” ~ Jeff Lucas
I’m a writer so I naturally love stories. Whether they are true life rags-to-riches sagas as Olympic athletes overcome obstacles to reach the world’s stage or the fictional tales I devour as an avid reader, I am drawn to the natural progression of characters on a journey conquering obstacles on their way to a happily-ever-after ending.
So last month, one of the teaching pastors at our church used the idea of a story to make a point about walking through life with Jesus. He said, “Faith is a leap into a story, not a walk in the dark.”
Of course, he was referring somewhat to the verse in Hebrews about faith being the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. Based on this verse (and years of Christianity’s collective experience through the centuries), some find the faith-walk to involve stepping off a cliff into the great-unknown and trusting God to meet them there in the relative darkness of things we can’t see. That perspective—while certainly true sometimes—puts the focus on my heart and whether I truly trust God enough to put my future into His hands. Thinking about faith this way puts the focus on me and my fumbling attempts to trust God enough to walk into the dark.
But I believe faith depends more on the object of my faith than how much trust I can muster up in the moment. By putting my focus on God and getting a bigger picture of who He is, the trust part gets easier and easier. Then taking that next step into the dark becomes a chance to get closer to Him and get to know Him even more.
Better yet, the object of my faith is also the Author of the most amazing story on the planet because it, well it started with the creation of the planet and will continue long after this planet fades away. That story is filled with good guys and bad guys and epic battles. It’s also filled with hope in the middle of present difficulties and bursts over with promises of an ultimate happy ending for those who endure and persevere.
Plus this story is filled with smaller stories of people who have taken a walk in the dark with God as part of God’s bigger plan for our planet. Some left their homes and went to a new place. Got out of the boat and walked on water. Handed over their small lunch and saw thousands fed. Even ran away from God but were still rescued (albeit in the belly of a giant fish. Ew!). These stories of ordinary people failing and succeeding and bumbling along their life’s journey give me hope that God will be there to help me too.
When I see God’s power in the past, I believe He can handle the future. (Especially when that future is revealed at the back of the book!) Since God created light in the past, He can certainly illuminate the path before me. So while I might not see the full road ahead, I can trust that there will be just enough light for that next step.
Once I know the future destination at the end of my path and the reliability of the One who promised to make it happen, it’s no longer a walk in the dark to get from point A to point B. Instead I’m participating in the greatest story ever told by adding my character to the woven threads of history. Make that His-story.
Because faith is a leap into a story and not a walk in the dark.
What about you? Do you tend to see faith as something you muster up in the moment or a quiet trust in Someone bigger? Have you ever considered yourself as a character in God’s story? If so, what role are you playing? How do you fit into the bigger story elements that are already in place?