Trusting when you can’t see a thing
Things may be looking pretty bleak at the moment. Some of things you’ve hoped for in life are nowhere to be found. Not even a slight glimpse in the distance. Should you keep walking in this desolate place? Are you even going in the right direction? Is God even here, and does He care about this?
Loved one … He’s there. He’s walking with you and He can be trusted, even if you don’t see a thing right now.
I’m reminded of the time when God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The had to walk through the scorching desert to get to their promised land. They got impatient and doubtful, even though God was very present. He covered them from the heat during the day, taking form of a cloud, and He lit the way and warmed them at night, taking the form of fire. He provided food in the form of manna that literally rained down from heaven. And still … they stopped believing that the promised land even existed and wanted to go back to captivity, because at least they knew it was real and what to expect there.
They thought that perhaps God had saved them so miraculously just to let them die in the desert. Sadly, most of them did die out there, but it was their choice, not God’s. His promised land existed, but because they couldn’t see evidence of it, they didn’t believe Him—and when they did see it, they were too scared to take it.
When the Israelites finally got close enough to the promised land to know it was real, they sent 12 spies in, so that they could come back and tell them about it. Ten of the spies had a bad report. They only inflamed everyone’s fears and said there was no way they could enter. The said that they’d be crushed by the current inhabitants, who looked like giants.
Only two (Joshua & Caleb) had enough faith to say that the land was incredibly amazing and said, “Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” Numbers 14:9
The next few verses say … But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? – Numbers 14:10-11
Joshua and Caleb made it in, while the others who didn’t believe died in their fear and doubt.
This story is sobering. And it is so much like ours.
Maybe you can’t see a thing right now. Not even a glimpse of what you are hoping for. Or maybe you do see it in the distance, but you fear it’s only a mirage, or you don’t think you have what it takes to take hold of it.
The job you are hoping for, the child your heart desperately desires, the significant other you’re aching for, the home of your dreams, the close friendships you crave, the well-being of your kids, the good health report you critically need, the broken, yet vital relationship that needs healing … and the list goes on, and on.
So we wait. We hope. And sometimes we lose hope.
But let’s always come back to it. To faith. To trust. He’s here. He’s trust-worthy and beyond good, and loves you more than you could ever imagine. A cloud by day and fire by night. Providing, guiding, speaking … even when we overlook it or can’t quite see it yet.
We’re going somewhere. Somewhere good. He’s doing something. Let’s believe it, and keep walking.
Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord an rely on his God. – Isaiah 50:10
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” -Deuteronomy 31:8