Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see. It was their faith that made our ancestors pleasing to God. Because of our faith, we know that the world was made at God's command. We also know that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen. (Hebrews 11:1-3 CEV).
The following story appeared yesterday and I couldn’t help but think of the chapter of faith beginning with our reading today. Here it is:
Officials have a history mystery on their hands in the form of a cellophane-wrapped postcard mailed from a post office long closed to a town manager long dead. The postcard mailed from East Sumner, Maine, was postmarked August 14, 1957, and bears a 2-cent stamp. It was addressed to the late Town Manager Harry Flood, who served from 1945 to 1963, and was written by a woman who must have been a friend since she only used her first name, Alice. The post office in East Sumner no longer exists and Flood has been dead for nearly 40 years. 1
It is a mystery for historians to ponder, however a greater mystery unfolds in the Scripture when we begin to understand the true nature of faith. Faith acts on the unseen and previously unexperienced. In all of the examples that follow the opening of the verses in our reading, the writer details the lives of some of the great faith men and women of the Bible. Each of them made a choice to believe God and acted on that belief. The following letter was found in a baking-power can wired to the handle of an old pump that offered the only hope of drinking water on a very long and seldom-used trail across Nevada's Amargosa Desert:
This pump is all right as of June 1932. I put a new sucker washer into it and it ought to last five years. But the washer dries out and the pump has got to be primed. Under the white rock I buried a bottle of water, out of the sun and cork end up. There's enough water in it to prime the pump, but not if you drink some first. Pour about one-fourth and let her soak to wet the leather. Then pour in the rest medium fast and pump like crazy. You'll git water. The well has never run dry. Have faith. When you git watered up, fill the bottle and put it back like you found it for the next feller. (signed) Desert Pete. P.S. Don't go drinking the water first. Prime the pump with it and you'll git all you can hold. 2
As I see it, we all have that same choice as the fellow who comes across the pump in Amargosa. You can take the bottle of water that is present and drink it. That’s a sure thing. Or, you can follow the instructions and have all the water you can stand! Our problem today is that we have too often settled for a “bird in the hand,” when God wants us to trust him for much, much more!
1. Associated Press; Stratford, Ct; 01/28/08.
2. Keith Miller and Bruce Larson, The Edge of Adventure.
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