3. Things Aren't Always What They Seem

“For I know…” Jeremiah 29:11

Do you remember that story of the two angels who stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family? The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead, the angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked “Why?” the older angel replied, "Things aren't always what they seem."

The next night, the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable, farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had, the couple let the angels sleep in their bed so they could have a good night's rest.

When the sun came up the next morning, the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field. The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel, ‘How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him!" she accused. "The second family had little but was willing to share everything and you let the cow die.”

"Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied. "When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it.” Then last night as we slept, the angel of death came for the farmer’s wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem."

Sometimes when it doesn’t turn out the way it seems it should, we’ve likely put down those spectacles. Maybe we just can't find them. Probably becuase we can't see properly we start to say, ‘Why can’t your plans be the same as mine Lord?’

But God says, “For I know”

There are so many things in the world we don't know, can’t get the hang of, see the big picture. We want to get a handle on things but all handles seem to be out of stock.

That's when faith comes in.

That’s when you trust the one who says, “For I know.”

How often do you look at the world through the eyes of faith? Does the ‘I’m only human’ part of you keep forgetting your specs? Maybe you’ve never even had a pair?

The writer of Hebrews shows 20/20 vision when he says:

“Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” Hebrews 11:1

I mean, wow, how about that for hawk like peepers! Eyes that see beyond the immediate, the here and now.

It all seems so much easier when you’re writing about it or reading it, than when you actually have to do it, doesn’t it? In the middle of the storm. When our plans don't line up with God's plans. When the big picture isn't been screened, no handles available. It takes practice; we have to grow into it.

The picture we’re given about being ‘born again’ (John 3.3) isn’t just for hanging above the fireplace and dusting down from time to time. It is the foundation stone to start a lifetime of learning about how to look. The first brick in building our understanding of how to see. 

I wonder if the disciples started by having faith in Jesus before they developed the faith of Jesus? They grew in faith over time. We all begin by taking tentative, tiny steps before we can take bigger more confident strides.


Next Time: The Hidden 3D Image