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Knowing When We Don’t! (11.03.05--Faith That Flies!--Job 1:1)

I do much better when I know all the little details! When I can see the whole picture it is far easier to sit down and think through even the toughest of problems. Unfortunately there are those things in life that simply don’t lend themselves to full discovery. Sometimes you aren’t able to discover an answer to a difficult question simply by making a list of “pro’s” and “con’s”.

My wife and I have purchased two homes over the course of our marriage. In both cases we did have the opportunity to sit down and make “pro” and “con” lists. And, subsequently, we ended up throwing the lists away. With something as expensive and important as a home purchase, it simply didn’t seem plausible to weigh the decision based upon the tangible alone. It was obvious that there were many intangibles that could and would color the picture. It was a matter of taking a leap of faith and committing. There were just too many details to consider. Trust was more important than knowledge.

Writes Tim Stafford: “A pastor I know, Stephey Bilynskyj, starts each confirmation class with a jar full of beans. He asks his students to guess how many beans are in the jar, and on a big pad of paper writes down their estimates. Then, next to those estimates, he helps them make another list: Their favorite songs. When the lists are complete, he reveals the actual number of beans in the jar. The whole class looks over their guesses, to see which estimate was closest to being right. Bilynskyj then turns to the list of favorite songs. ‘And which one of these is closest to being right?’ he asks. The students protest that there is no ‘right answer’; a person’s favorite song is purely a matter of taste. Bilynskyj, who holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Notre Dame asks, ‘When you decide what to believe in terms of your faith, is that more like guessing the number of beans, or more like choosing your favorite song?’ Always, Bilynskyj says, from old as well as young, he gets the same answer: Choosing one’s faith is more like choosing a favorite song.” (Tim Stafford, Christianity Today)

God often asks us to face the problems of life with little or no understanding of what the problem is or how it might be solved. Job, that great Biblical patriarch, was faced with just such a situation. God asked him to believe when there was no evidence that believing would accomplish which he hoped for in faith. The answers, the details, weren’t revealed; only the problem. Faith that flies is faith that doesn’t guess at the answers. We make a decision and believe even though we don’t know. Faith isn’t easy and it doesn’t lend itself to interpretation or taste. Faith is knowing even when we don’t.

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