May 14

The Lord says, “Those who love me, I will deliver.” Psalm 91:14

 

Jesus said to the healed man, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:19

 

“We live by faith, not by sight” 2 Corinthians. 5:7. Paul could certainly turn a nice phrase. His words seem to capture the essence of the Christian life to which each of us is called.

But what is it to “live by sight”? If we can understand what it is to live in this state, it can give us an appreciation of what stands in opposition to it—what it is to live by faith. To live by sight is to live as we must live. There is no escape from living by sight, so long as we are human.

To live by sight is to reason inductively. It is to use the same reasoning that enables us to conclude that the sun will rise tomorrow. The sun rises and sets, the tides are raised and lowered, we follow the four seasons. In Minnesota, even a couple more.

This is the very type of reasoning that we call “common sense.” All people have it (even if some of us have more of it than others).

To live by sight, however, is to live a life of great anxiety. While it is comforting to see the world go by us with such wonderful regularity, we are daily tormented by the great uncertainties in our own lives: Loss of job or friends or family, wrecked cars, broken bones, poverty, disease, —the list of things that can go wrong is so long as to be endless. And yet it is not the length of the list that deserves our attention, but rather the potential suddenness of the entries as they should happen to make their appearance in our lives. While I may be certain that the sun will rise tomorrow I nevertheless cannot be as certain that I will even wake up in the morning.

That is the great anxiety of living by sight: That we might die. Not for nothing did Paul use the term “earthly tent” to describe the human body, for daily we face the prospect that at death we will no longer be covered by this “tent” 2 Corinthians 5:4

To live by sight, then, is to live a life of great uncertainty, and thus anxiety. While we are certain of permanence in the world, we are given no such certainty as it concerns us individually.

The Christian does not have this anxiety, or this uncertainty, for we live not by sight, but by faith. Faith that we will be with God, faith that Jesus died for us, faith that our Father will always, always be there for us. Faith.

 

Lord of life, you have promised to deliver me from trouble. When I am in despair, you will love me back to life. Yet I continue to fall short. I do not trust you to be there when I need you. Forgive my ingratitude. Turn me towards you, Lord, so that I may give you the glory. Amen.

Peace,

Susan Hanson