Have a little faith

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I have faith. It should also be of no surprise that I sometimes wonder where having faith has gotten me. Now, before my agnostic friends cheer, my religious friends judge, and my atheistic friends roll their eyes, let me be clear: having faith doesn’t mean not ever having questions. I would even argue that an authentic faith requires an ability to question and step into the unknown where the answers to our questions reside. Hebrews 11:1 says that,

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I always thought that was a cheesy little verse to make us be okay with our answerless days – a fake-it-til-you-make-it kind of thing.

Until today when I started wondering…

If faith is the evidence of things not seen then what is it that we are not seeing that is giving us faith? It almost sounds like an oxymoron. How can nothing give us faith?

The substance of things hoped for.

Let me be a grammar nerd for a moment: “substance” comes from the Middle English and Old French derivative of the Latin verb substare, meaning to “stand firm.” So, what is our faith standing firm on?

Things hoped for.

What does hope mean? Wanting something to happen. And if we go far enough back in the history of language, we’ll find that “hope” has Old English, Dutch and Germanic roots making it a verb and a noun. Meaning that this evidence of nothing that gives us faith is “standing firm” in a verb (action) and a noun (person, place, or thing).

What is my point? If you’re having a bad day or all your questions are unanswered then… what are you hoping for? What or who are you hoping in? What will it take to make that hope come alive? To make that nothing become something?

One thing I know is this: one of the best cures for everything I don’t understand is to sit back and reflect on what it is that I really want, what it will take to get there, and having enough faith to give it a try. Because faith, after all, is believing in something and then doing something about it.

It is my hope that all my questions bring me back to a faith that is okay with not having all the answers. As long as hope survives what I can’t see today then I’ll have the courage to stand firm and keep trying tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

May you always keep the faith. May you always keep hoping. And may you always believe.


Tasha Lynn

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