Big Faith in a Small World

1 “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
   break forth into singing and cry aloud,
   you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
   than the children of her who is married,” says the LORD.
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
   and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
   and strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
   and your offspring will possess the nations
   and will people the desolate cities. –Isaiah 54

It has been a little over two years since we made the difficult move to Little Rock. Two years is the timeframe Stephanie and I initially set in our minds for healing, rest, evaluation and re-establishment. My prayer going forward into this new year is that it would be a turning of the page for us from a period of establishment into a period of enlargement.

It often goes unrecognized to me the critical role faith plays for life under the sun. This seems a strange thing for me to say even as I write it now. Maybe it’s because the wideness of faith (one that should encompass all of life) has been more of a reality to me than the deepness of faith which has been largely neglected. It is not simply the presence of trust but the level of that trust. It’s a marvelous thing that a man such as I, blind from birth, should be given the eyes of faith. But what vision is before those eyes? The writer of Hebrews tells us that “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” What is being hoped for as my eyes gaze before me? What is being seen with my eyes that can’t yet be held in my hand?

The vision God has for His beloved children is one that has been both restored and enlarged. Faith acts upon and rests upon the promise given not the reality obtained in full. Faith enlarges the tent while the family is still small. Faith lays claim to the land even while it is still inhabited by giants. As I look upon the risen Christ and He becomes my vision, my focal point, what do I see in the periphery? What starts to be revealed in the background? With Christ comes a kingdom. It is that kingdom that must define my life under the sun.

So this coming year, may the Lord enlarge the capacity of my heart for joy, for friendship, and for worship. May the Lord enlarge our life as a family as we grow into new stages of childhood and marriage. May the Lord enlarge our opportunities for ministry as my calling and vision are reaffirmed and refined. In God’s wisdom  and timing, I am praying that He would now turn our eyes from the ground beneath us to the horizon before us.

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