Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see - Hebrews 11:1
Many times life is like a magic puzzle that is full of massive pieces of events, busy activities, hectic chaos and accumulated mountains of facts where beauties are deeply hidden within the chaos and they can be only revealed when each piece is put in the right place and the puzzle is resolved. Faith is about to see the beautiful picture hidden behind the puzzle while battling over the endless life events one by one.
When my daughter was about eight years old, she received a Christmas gift, a Magic Puzzle with thousands of pieces and a beautiful picture on the puzzle box and it’s very attractive.
The picture foretells she can make a masterpiece if she puts all the pieces in the right place. The beauty of the messes is revealed in advance through the picture and it inspires my daughter to work on the puzzle and ignites her passion and burning desire to get it done because she sees the beauty of the picture and believed it.
Reference Six Steps to Build Your Self-Confidence
However, even with such an obvious beautiful promise, because solving the puzzle was so tedious, so boring, and there were so many pieces which demanded so much time to figure out which piece goes where, several times my daughter just wanted to give up. Her father and I encouraged her to continue her work and not giving up half way. And we promised her to frame her masterpiece once completed. Not only so but also we joined her to work on the puzzle. With our encouragement and the revealed beauty of the magic puzzle came alive with each piece she placed in the right place, my daughter got to finish her masterpiece.
However the process to complete the puzzle and make the picture come true was not smooth at all. The beginning was very hard and sometimes it took almost an hour to put a piece in right place. Whenever we lost patient and heart, we looked at the picture on the sheet and thought how great if we could hang the picture on the wall. Then we moved on. When the work was completed about three quarters, by accident, my husband stepped on the working sheet and messed up several pieces, that means we had to put them back in place. My daughter got so mad at her daddy and she lost her temper, she yielded she would not work on it anymore, reached out her hands and wanted to flip over the work-sheet and destroy the whole work. As soon as I saw her action, I run immediately in front of her, covered the sheet with my whole body so she could not destroy the work. I cried out loudly and firmly, “you cannot do this!” Then I raised the puzzle box, yielded out, “look at the picture on it! This is the promise to your work. If you tear down the work, you kill the promise. I cannot let you do that! Look at what finished, the picture is almost there. Look at the frame we bought, it’s waiting for the picture to put in. Stop your anger and continue to work on it as we count on you. And you are the one who did the most of the work and you are good at doing the puzzles!” My daughter was shocked and stopped crying and later on she continued her work.
Finally we finished puzzle and saw the whole picture! However, at the last step, we all amazed to find out we lost one piece of the puzzles and the piece is very critical as it sits right in the middle of the picture. Without it, anyone can easily tell the picture is not a whole. Three of us searched out our house to find the missing piece. As it took about a month and a half for us to work on the puzzle and the worksheet had been lying on our family room floor for so long. And most times we left the remaining puzzle pieces on the floor beside the worksheet. Sometimes friends or kids from neighbors came, it’s really hard to know where the missing piece actually was. Though we searched hard, we were not able to find it. We all lost heart and I became very anxious about the piece. I could not help praying and expected to see the miracle. Two days was passed, we did not see any clue that the miracle would happen. We decided to put the picture in its frame on Saturday anyway. On Saturday, when the morning light was shining through into my bed room, I woke up and cried out for the missing piece. Suddenly I heard my husband yelled out with excitement, “I found it! I found it!” My daughter and I run down to the first floor, my husband raised up the tiny missing piece in his hands. “See I found it!” We were all amazed! By accident, he found the piece, our lost treasure, right under the refrigerator door when he got some food out from refrigerator. Finally the picture was in whole and the promise of the picture had come true completely. Until now we still hang it on the wall.
Faith is about seeing the whole picture and holding on the vision though the physical environment is full of uncertainty. When we got trapped, the vision empowers us and brings us out of the trap; when we get lost, the vision is our compass to lead us to the right track; when we are disappointed or frustrated, the vision fills us with hope and refreshes us with new sight. However so many times in life, we can easily lose the vision but only see things right before us. One day, a light shined through me in an earlier morning while I was contemplating what happened in the hectic life, we people usually are short sighted by only focus on what we see and assume what we do not see does not exist so we take what we see as the end and lose the hope for future, that's why God initially created Adam and Eve but He did not open their eyes and let them see because our eyes are only to see things nearby and focus on the current states.
Reference The Power of Confidence
Vision is our anchor of hope. With hope rooted in our deeper mindset, we know the struggles are temporal, by-pass, not the end. It propels us to move on forward to go to the vision, the final destination. Without a vision, or when we lose sight of our vision, we will battle around short term or immediate results. Gradually we got trapped forever.
Dr. Richard Mouw once illustrated the point well. One day, he picked up a novel about 450 pages long for relaxing. When he is on page 225, the hero in the novel is in big trouble. He's in a house that's surrounded by the enemy and it isn't clear how he's going to get out alive. And the woman he loves is being held captive some place. And he got somewhat tense with the story and he concerned how this is all going to turn out? It’s on page 225 and what's going to happen? Here is what Dr. Mouw did. He went to the last page. But he did not read it very carefully because he still wanted to be surprised by how the details work out in the end, he skimmed the last page to ascertain two things: One, is the hero still alive? Two, are they back together again? Then he went back to page 225 and read slowly and tensely through the kinds of agonies that you go through in reading a novel like that. He can slowly work his way through the plot up to page 450 because he has seen the last page and he knew that it will work out in the end.
Dr. Mouw’s message is: We're headed to the last page. And we have to work our way slowly through the plot. There are going to be times of anxiety and worries, and a kind of surface setbacks, but if we put our trust in our vision and the Lord, we can make our way confidently toward the last page, toward the dream He gave us.
Reference Six Reasons to Develop Close Relationship with God