Sunday, January 2, 2011

Faith vs. Knowledge

We sent the Bug (SK) back to school this morning.  She filled up our Toyota Matrix with new and old possessions and drove back to her life, leaving her Subaru, which she calls Gladys, for Beve to get fixed.  Sometime in December, she'd bumped into a pile of heavy snow which had become as hard as ice, knocking something loose inside a wheel-well. my procrastinating husband and daughter (I love them very much, really I do) left it until yesterday to deal with the issue, then realized a solution wouldn't be possible in our own driveway.  So we're doing the ol dosey-doe with vehicles.  It isn't the first time we've had to do this, and likely won't be the last.

So off she drove to her last five months of college, to the last of the easy community that a college campus provides.  Beyond May, everything is very foggy...as life is at every new turn.  My older brother starts a new job February 1st, one which will require one to two years at a time on an assignment.  I asked him where he'll go first, and he told me all he knows is that he goes to the company headquarters in Cincinnati for a week first.  Talk about flying off into the fog. Presumably he'll know a little more before he kisses his wife goodbye that day, but still...

Last night Beve and I talked long past his bedtime and even past mine about a decision he's trying to make professionally. We didn't come to any conclusion and when Beve finally drifted off, I thought of how much I wished we could see the future more clearly.   To know...to really know what we should do, what God's perfect, pleasing-to-Him will is.  I remember being a young Christian and thinking about the difference between knowing something and believing something.  The things I knew--like chairs could hold my weight or a raw egg dropped on a cement floor would break--weren't things I had to think about or ponder.  They just were.  Never in my life (at that point) did I worry about what chair to sit in... Such knowledge as this (and I'm not talking about complex thought here) has no strength behind it.  It simply is.  It exists, we accept it and rely on it.

Faith asks so much of us.  It is not the certainty of a chair or a broken egg, but the certainty of things unseen, as Hebrews 11 says.  We live with our weight resting on what we believe...or, rather, who we believe.  And this resting weight has the strength of steel.  I believed it instinctively as a baby Christian of 14.  And I've seen it over and over in the 39 years.

Take my older brother's situation as an example. Last summer, as we were whiling away our days around our mother's bed, he talked a bit about how he might want to finish out his career. Early in the fall, through no effort on his part, an international company in came calling--looking for a person with R's exact 'tool-set.'  When R first talked to me about it, we talked about how to know what God wanted for him.  As we all are at times, he was worried about making the wrong decision.  And easy for me to say, since it wasn't my life, I said, "Ask God to close the dang door!"  I must have said that exact phrase about half a dozen times.  Maybe even a bit forcefully.  I can be like that at times.  Anyway, R stepped out in faith and did exactly that.  He (with his wife) decided to continue through the process until or unless God closed the (dang) door.  The weight of their faith resting on Him.  And...He kept opening wider and wider doors.

It's not rocket science.  It's faith.  We have the distinct advantage over those who do not have God behind their every decision. Those decisions have to be made alone in the fog, and only what they know can help them.

Yes, I still maintain that faith is stronger--infinitely stronger--than infinite knowledge can ever be.

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