It’s a difficult personal season for me right now. But I’m reading through the Bible. What an odd couple—weakness and power trying to occupy the same real estate in my heart at the very same time.
The wisdom of the ages intersects human frailty. God crosses my path. You know something’s bound to happen when that occurs. And I read about it yesterday when I arrived at Hebrews chapter 11. Of course, that’s the famous faith chapter.
I’ve heard a lot of things about faith, and I have to admit, some of them have sounded kooky. Too many of those views involved a simplistic connecting of dots. But this chapter puts folks on display whose faith experiences were sometimes complicated and all over the board. Plugged back into the original context of their stories, we find them surrounded with frequent weaknesses. A few of them could also be candidates for a chapter that spoke about not having faith.
I hate to say it, but that makes me feel better.
Anyway, here’s how their faith showed up in fits and starts:
v. 3 Understanding invisible things
v. 4 Offering excellent sacrifices
v. 5 Walking in a way that pleases God
v. 7 Fearfully preparing for things which God has warned of
v. 8 Obeying God without knowing the outcome
vv. 9-10 Waiting for God’s perfect timing
v. 11 Considering God faithful
vv. 17-19 Passing tests that seem unreasonable
v. 20 Seeing the potential in others and blessing them
v. 21 Even when life is over, blessing that of others
v. 22 Planning for God’s perfect future
v. 23 Fearing God rather than man
vv. 24-26 Refusing pleasures in order to choose being with God’s people
v. 27 Forsaking the God-rejecting world, and being unafraid of the consequences
v. 28 Keeping God’s redemptive commands
v. 29 Passing through impossible situations
v. 30 Pulling down strongholds
v. 31 Receiving God’s people at risk of life and limb
If you look closely, you’re somewhere in the Hebrews 11 list, struggling, and quietly making history.