Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
~ Hebrews 11:1
This morning I pulled down several journals from a bookshelf and began to look back in time. It's interesting to look at life in retrospect and see God's presence, but yet, at the time, not realizing what is going on. I literally have volumes of journals that I have written over the years. I have discovered that in times of change or struggle in my life, I turned to empty pages and wrote about what I was feeling and experiencing.
In August of 1989 I was in my second year of living in Wyoming where I was working. It was the farthest distance and longest time I had been away from my "Indiana Home." I realized as I turned the pages and looked at the entry dates, that I was the same age as my daughter is now. I stopped and had to wonder how different we are, but yet, the same in many ways.
My job didn't allow much time for "church." I traveled most every week at that time, and my home was more of a place where I stored things, rather than a place where I lived. Some weeks I remember getting home on a Friday, dropping my clothes off to be laundered, taking care of what I could on Saturday, and by Sunday night I was packing my bags again to leave on Monday morning. Church was "something" I would squeeze in when I could. I can't remember the number of times that I received a "Visitor Card," when I showed up at church.
I was a restless young man. I realize that the wide, open spaces of Wyoming was exactly the place where I needed to be. I remember one day I traveled nearly three hours and didn't pass one single vehicle on the road. I stopped in the middle of the roadway one evening when I crested a pass and looked across to see the wind swirling snow into the sunset among mountainous peaks, causing an amazing display of light being cast everywhere. A rainbow was created by the snow that went from the ground straight into the sky. Thirty years later I can still remember the encounter.
This morning I was reminded from an entry from August of 1989 that, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for," from Hebrews 11. My next note to myself, "Hope is the driving force."
I'm pretty sure that this entry was made while waiting on a plane in Denver that day, as I noted in my journal that the night before I had dinner with a marketing group that did work with the company where I was employed. This is where the "God thing," the term we used in seminary to explain away things that we couldn't seem to understand, seemed to take hold. The effects of faith on us invites us to see beyond our current situation.
I continued writing, "The key to living a faithful life means that we must act as if God is present in every moment that we live."
I must have stopped and walked to a window that looked out upon the mountains in the distance because my next line is, "Even the mountains in the distance seem to reflect this. They are the result of God's power. The entire universe was formed at God's command. Faith in retrospect. It is the reminder of the power of faith in our life. Each of us must be found faithful."
Funny thing about faith. When God promises us something, whether we believe it or not, it will always be part of our journey.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams is the author of the book, "Remember Me When..." and is a former hospice chaplain and pastor.