“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Sunday afternoon I’m heading to Athena to spend the night with Kristin and Christopher on the way to my last visit to the Spokane area. I go to help Jacob, Amity, Dara and Jacob’s Mom, Barbara, pack up the Coon home for the big move to Philomath. The only reason I’ve ever visited the Spokane area was to see Kristin, Christopher and Helen early on and then Becky, Jacob and the girls once they moved from Missouri. I’ve grown fond of Spokane. I like the rolling hills of the Palouse, the fertile wheat country that nudges up close to Spokane giving way to a rocky and sparse forest just south of the city. And Spokane itself is a vibrant city that seems to have sprung up like a tenacious and
beautiful wildflower in a remote and wild place. But always my memories of Spokane
will be colored by losing Becky there. As long as I live I will remember the shock of the night of her death. As long as I breathe I will recall the bitter cold five days we spent navigating the snow and ice that took her life. I don’t want to go back and I can’t stand to
never go back again.
After Grandmapa Camp and spending time with Jacob and the girls a week later, Becky has been much on my mind. In some way Jacob and the girls moving here is closing a chapter – it is almost as if we are giving up on Becky — finally acknowledging that she
is gone. I know Jacob has this same sense and I’m confident that the week that he has already spent sorting and packing has been excruciating. He is touching all of their things – some of which haven’t been unpacked since the move from Joplin. Every item – even the most insignificant has to conjure up memories and fresh grief.
Again I find myself clinging to faith. I hope for the day when we will be together without ‘Missing Becky’ as the caption for our gathering. Beyond that ‘near’ time when we’ll take joy in remembering Becky instead of grieving upon remembrance, I hope for a soon reunion for this family. A time is certain when we will be with Becky together in the company of our Lord. Faith tells me that this hope is reality waiting to unfold.
I am encouraged by the word ‘substance’ in Hebrews 11:1. The many pictures used to describe what this word meant to the Greek mind include:
* a setting or placing under
* thing put under, substructure, foundation
* that which has foundation, is firm
* that which has actual existence
* a substance, real being
* the substantial quality, nature, of a person or thing
* the steadfastness of mind, firmness, courage, resolution
* confidence, firm trust, assurance.
All of those word pictures speak to me of reality, truth, assurance. In Hebrews 1:3
the same word is used to describe Jesus as the representation of God. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” The word ‘being’ is the same Greek word translated ‘substance’ in Hebrews 11. Jesus is the one who took on flesh so that our faith would become sight. In the words of John he is the one “which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at, and our hands have touched . . . 1st John 1:1.” This same Jesus, the hope of the ages, verifies our faith and shows us God. This same Jesus is the evidence of things not seen. Again today I place my faith in Him!