Faith is a funny thing, isn’t it? If I said I had faith that the sky is blue, you would look at me funny. Faith and knowledge are opposites. Faith is confidence about things we don’t know. When we know something, it’s no longer faith.
This week I took, for the 6th year and for the final time, a group of seniors to summer camp. Four of them I’ve known since they were tiny little 6th graders. Back when they were in the 6th grade, I took it on faith that the world would one day be better because they lived and they loved Jesus. That was an article of faith. I was believing in a future that could not be seen. I trusted when there was no evidence that these students would ever amount to anything. These guys were (and still are) a mess. They’re not the ones you would bet your lives on.
But, as I told a few of these guys, I had lost my faith. I lost faith that they were made for a reason. I lost faith that God would use them. I lost faith that the world would be better because they were in it. Everything I had faith for with this group of 6th graders has been lost as a group of Seniors.
I lost all my faith.
And the reason I lost my faith is because believing was replaced with knowing.
I no longer believe that God will one day use their lives to make the world a better place. I know that He will, because He is. I don’t have to imagine a future where their gifts are being put to use and the world is becoming better and better, all I have to do is go and see how they are doing it.
I feel like it’s cheating now to say I think the world will be better because this group was created and because they loved Jesus. They currently are making the world a better place. It takes no skill, now, to anticipate it. All you have to do is just look. Are they making a difference? Yes. I don’t believe it, I don’t have faith in it, I just look and see if it’s happening. And it is, in a really big way.
What’s more, I told them this is just the beginning. It’s been good, but it’s about to get so much better. Because what God is doing with these men is just the down payment on what He’s going to do with them in the decades to come.
Whenever I get discouraged and I wonder if I should have spent the last 6 years watering and sowing these seeds, I remind myself of the good that God is beginning to harvest. And how this is just the beginning, the down payment, on what God intends to do with their lives.
Classes begin soon for the Senior Class of 2018. The final year of high school is about to begin. And these wonderful men can walk into class with confidence because we no longer take on faith that God intends to use these men well.
He is. And will continue. And I’m so excited to see it.