As I sat in my car on the brow above Hayling Island beach, sheltering from the cold, I was looking at the sea covered in mist. Dimly I could make out one or two container ships laying at anchor, out towards Spithead but when I looked to see the familiar outline of the Isle of Wight it was invisible. I knew it should be there but could not see it.
Later, thinking about that experience, it seemed to me that life is often just like that view from the beach. You know that there is something out there or you long for something to be there but you can’t see it. So many things fit into this pattern, birthdays or retirement, visits by loved ones, even theatre or concert bookings, far off into the future: you wait, knowing that they will happen or you will see them but for the moment they are invisible.
It suddenly struck me that my own hope for the return of Jesus as a great King over all of the nations on earth, was just like that, my Bible says that it will happen, says it many times, but I can’t see it, can’t reach out and touch it; I just have to believe that it will happen and keep on longing for its arrival. I suppose that sums up the word ‘Faith’ and having searched through the New Testament I have found that once again it was Paul the apostle who wrote just that, saying, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” if you wish, you can find this quote in Hebrews Chapter 11 Verse 1.