Readings for August 11, 2019
Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
I will admit that I have some fear when it comes to the future. My future. My wife’s future. My children’s futures. I tell myself that I have this fear because I lack vision. My eyesight is fine (well, okay, I need “cheaters”), but I don’t know what is coming down the road. For instance, I don’t know what will happen when my youngest daughter goes off to college. Will she survive the academic rigor? Will she make friends? Will they be good friends? Will she make the choices I raised her to make? Will she be happy? Will she be safe? I don’t know. And this frustrates me. But I suppose I can’t know everything that will happen in the future for the same reason I have never read the headline “Fortune Teller wins lottery jackpot!”
Except maybe I have. Solomon says that, in faith of the covenants, the fathers of the Israelite people knew of the Passover before it happened. And as a result of their foresight, their lives were spared. Jackpot! Then there was Abraham, who was ready to carry out God’s test and sacrifice his only son. He was able to do this because he had the foresight to know that God could even raise someone from the dead and He had only good in store for Abraham, his servant. “So it was that there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore.” Jackpot!
So what is my jackpot? Of course, it is what Abraham’s near sacrifice foreshadowed: the sacrifice of God’s only Son to die and rise again. Through Jesus, I can have the vision to see what God has in store for me. A “realization of what is hoped for,” God, my Father, is “pleased” to offer me His Kingdom. This is the treasure I must patiently seek. And patient is the correct command here, because I still do not know what will happen before I approach the gates of Heaven, only that it will certainly be difficult. Which is frightening. But like the Israelite people, and like Abraham, I must cast aside all of my fears and put my faith in what I know of God. God is love. And a loving Father has only good things prepared for us. The wait is difficult but the promise is great. And God will keep His promise to us.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.