…What Hope, Faith, and Love look like.
“And God led them, in the day by a pillar of cloud, to show them the way, and in the night by a pillar of fire.” – Exodus 13:21
“I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” – Psalm 27:13
“This hope is an anchor for my soul” scripture is my life verse. Hebrews 6:19 was on my wall as a teenager. I tried to be cute and all by making a poster of it. So I was confident that I understood it. I thought I knew what “walking by faith and not by sight” looked like. I even wrote it on my vision board for 2020 (*cue cringe face).
I thought I knew God’s love for me, even went to the extremes of defining it to prove I “understood” it, until He showed me who He is; that He is bigger than I thought He was.
Last year, I had the privilege of attending a worship night where they sang a song I will never forget. It was my first time hearing this song but the words were very familiar. I had known that scripture but I didn’t really live out. I had somehow written it on the walls of my heart but I hadn’t yet let it permeate them until that night. The song went like this:
“Pillar of cloud, fire by night you go before. Where would I be, had I not believed? I’ll see your goodness in the land of the living”
(Side note: If you have any information on the name of the song- please let us know)
(Another side note: this is also Exodus 13:21 (BST) & Psalm 27:13)
I kept on singing and declaring it. This declaration made its way into the year 2020 and man did I need it! What a wilderness it has been. Although it is an amazing anthem of hope and faith, it made me realize one other factor I have been missing- His goodness.
Knowing this and reading the story of the Israelites journey through the wilderness I could not help but ask myself the following -were the Israelites aware of the miracle that was happening? The pillar of cloud and fire was literally His presence like it was God Himself! Did they take a second and just stay with Him? I’m sure the distraction that is fear hindered them from getting the fullness of God. But that didn’t stop God from being God. Their level of faith didn’t alter and change His love for them. And so I think we keep on hoping because of His consistency. We keep on being faithful because of Who Is. And God keeps on providing the pillar of fire because of His goodness.
I thought I knew what hope, faith, and love looks like. Until He showed me His goodness.
“I’ll see your goodness in the land of the living”
You can agree with me in saying we are living in a movie. Yes, an entire Hollywood HD 4k Ultra movie. Who would have thought that the year of perfect vision would be this blurry in so many ways?
The year that was also known as the year of “20/20” vision would be filled with so many “I don’t know what I’ll do next”. Of course, I don’t have the slightest reference to what perfect vision looks like. Growing up I thought to look at a tree and seeing a Trufella tree from the Lorax was normal. Experiencing trials and hurdles can sometimes blur your vision a bit. It can rob you of spending time with Him in the eventfulness of things. It can make you feel like you’re in the wilderness. But in the wilderness, the presence of God was there by day and night. With all that is happening around us, the invitation is there for us to experience all of Him. To see Him in the midst of the I-don’t-knows. To be constantly found in His presence. When you have a Saviour as we do, you cannot know Him without indulging in His presence.
Psalm 34:8 says… “Taste and see that the Lord is good…”
This hope, faith, and love is embedded in His goodness. Being good is His nature.
I have always heard of His goodness and not really tasted it. That was because of my experience of the world, not my own encounters with Him. I allowed other people’s encounters with God’s goodness to shape my understanding of it. But I want the aroma of being Him to trump the desire for Him to do it again. I’m starting to think He does more work in the wilderness than the promised land.
Maybe it’s time for me (for us) to get to know Him because I (we) simply want to know Him. Not because of the output that is produced by fire(light). But the process and the experience of the pillar of fire. I want to get to know Him because of the “during” of the fire.
Maybe that’s what hope, faith, and love looks like.
To be honest.
I still don’t know.
Maybe it looks like His goodness.