Failure

Over this past year, something I’ve sat with more than anything else is failure. Failure has been the word running through my mind and heart as I live and observe—but not circumstantial failure; rather, relational failure. In all the ways our culture celebrates success and triumphs, we equally despise failure—either avoiding the topic altogether or making it far greater than it deserves. I don’t think it’s as black and white as we make it. Instead, it’s a push and pull as we live in this world relationally with others. It’s a glimpse into the human condition and a mirror on our own lives, and from it, provides much we can learn…

 

Why does it hurt when people fail us?
         And why do we deeply fear failing others?

I am going to fail you. 
         If I haven’t already (or repeatedly).

You are going to fail me.
         And from it, there’s so much that I can learn.

Shame comes as a byproduct of failure.
         Yet, what about the “failures” that occur because of misplaced expectations?

Expectations of yourself—
         you are not God, you are infallible human

Expectations others have of you—
         you are not God, you are an instrument of Him

Expectations I have of others—
         They are not God, they are infallible humans, instruments from Him

We are called to love Him,
to be made more and more in His likeness,
ever transforming in glory.
          If this is not true in my life, I must ask the hard question of why.

We are not entitled to each other.
We have no rights to each other.
         Look to what can be given rather than expected.

We are called to love others.
We are to be open to receiving the love of others.
         And sometimes that love will include a rebuke.

We are given to one another in this life as part of God’s provision—
provision in that God has seen fit to provide through these people.
         Through them, He makes Himself known and His presence manifest.
         And where it is absent, He is surely gracious to fill with Himself.

There is no place for fear of failure. 
         He calls us to trust Him for our refinement.

And for those failures that are legitimate, hurtful—
         Forgive me for the ways I’ve sinned against you. Forgive them too.

Yet in all of this failure, I beckon you—
         Do not harden your heart or become righteous if others have failed you.
         If you have failed others, do not condemn yourself.

*For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” 
         has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge
         of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Because we have this treasure in jars of clay, 
         to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not driven to despair; 
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed;
         always carrying in the body the death of Jesus
         so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away
         our inner self is being renewed day by day.*

*2 Corinthians 2:6-10, 16

Longevity

We were eleven years old when we first met. From a distance, she wasn’t one I envisioned being close with, as she and one of her friends spent time playing imaginary games I could have cared less about. Yet, our paths continued to cross through Girl Scouts, club soccer, and school. And the Lord had plans for that friendship even though I did not know Him at the time. Through it, and the friendship of another, the distinction of what it meant to be a Christian in surrendering my life to Jesus and following after Him was finally made—both through her actions and in her words. We were becoming best friends and then before my eighth grade year, I gave my life to the Lord. Since that day, she has walked faithfully beside me in patience and love, teaching and modeling what it meant to love and follow Him. She folded me into her family where they became as close as my own, and into her life and community of believers who were a refuge I desperately needed. Today, I marvel at how young we were then, yet still able to partly understand the significance of it all.

We grew up together. Countless days and nights were spent upon her bed where we would talk for hours upon hours about what we were thinking and feeling, what our takes were on things that happened (ranging from superficial to deep), and what it would look like when we grew up. We talked about what we envisioned it would look like when we each got married one day. These days and times are graven upon my heart as they were so formative to who I was and who I have become.

When I moved over 1,000 miles away to college, there was an adjustment in our friendship. We no longer had the proximity we had for seven years prior, and so the ebb and flow of our friendship changed. We had to adapt to less talking and more trusting in the fibers of our friendship that had been woven to hold the days to come. She stood beside me on my wedding day, which I couldn’t have imagined anything different. John and I were in Colorado for about 10 months after we got married where she and I were able to resume some of the proximity of our friendship before we moved even further away to New York, where we have now been for 3 years. Yet, when I would return home—even still to this day—we pick up right where we left off, and God has been so good to use and bless our time together.

Three weeks ago, she got engaged to a wonderful man that I do not really know but trust. I received a text message and a picture shortly after it happened, and she made time to Skype with me the next day despite her preparations for leaving for a month of international travel a couple days later. It was a wonderful conversation and I was so blessed by it; yet there was much for me to learn from it.

It’s not what I pictured this time would be. What is happening in reality is different than what we once dreamed about upon her bed in our teens. And I am not there in presence like I was when we were growing up. The reality is that for half of our friendship now, I have lived far away. And in that time, we have both grown and changed and have graciously been provided community around us to fill the presence we were to one another growing up. I should clearly know and recognize this by now, and most days, I do, but on that day and in that conversation, I felt both an overwhelming sense of gratitude for how the Lord has preserved our friendship over the 16 years we have been friends, but also a sense of loss that things aren’t like I pictured they would be—though they are exactly what they should be.

It was a stark reminder that just because things aren’t what we once or presently wish they should be, it doesn’t mean things aren’t currently what they should be. If anything or any relationship in this life is to have longevity, it can’t be forced to remain its own fixed entity for all of time—it has to have the freedom to grow, adapt, and change. If I desire nothing to change and take action upon that, I will either stifle it to its death or will lose it because it cannot be held in that type of bondage. Life is too long and dynamic. The Lord is too great and too sovereign. What can be is greater than what I know now, if I am willing to have clear eyes and heart to see and accept it as the Lord wills and brings it—even if it also brings pain, days of sorrow, and seasons without favor. Nothing is forever except the love and salvation I have in the Lord.

I celebrated four years of marriage with John two weeks ago. We have now been together for eight and known each other for nine. At 27 years old now, it’s an entire third of my life with him in it! We have grown up together in so many ways, and I am incredibly grateful for it and him. Yet this lesson is convicting within my marriage as well—if I want the longevity of marriage to thrive, I have to allow us both to grow and change, even if it’s into things I didn’t expect. I have to surrender our marriage and him to the Lord daily and trust that what He can do with it and my husband is greater than what I foolishly try to control and conjure. That my eyes and heart would be opened to more as I let go of what I think things might be.

I am a year into full-time freelancing, and about a year into being part of a church plant here in Brooklyn. Both have brought the initial excitement and challenges, and both have brought the joys and trials that stepping into anything new does. It’s easy to wonder about the sustainability of such a thing when you’re a ways into it, but close enough to the beginning to still have the perspective of how it developed. Yet, you’re still close enough to the beginning that seeing what it looks like down the road and how to plan for it now proves a bit tricky. We’re entering the middles. I read this last year and it has stayed with me:

And middles are often defined by what they are not: the space, the years in between that which is no longer what came before and that which is not yet what will come later…In the middle game, very little is scripted. The middle game is where creativity begins, where tactical daring and subtlety takes over. In the middle game, everything is open.
There are middles in architecture and design too. I learn that churches of the 14th century middle point style were characterized by lots and lots of windows, whole cathedral walls given over to stained glass and tracery, trifoliate windows insistent with light…the middle of the spiritual life may have many windows, and lots of lots of light, but it will also be a season of winnowing.
Middles might be said to be under-theorized. There is an abundance of work on opening and closure, but very little discussion of…what comes in between. This is obviously because the theory of the middle is taken simply to be the theory of the work as a whole. Beginnings and endings are marked points within the work, but the middle is just the work itself with those points lopped off…there is however, perhaps more to be said.” –Don Fowler

Most of life is the middles—the work itself. And because of that, our framework of how we view and approach endings and beginnings will always evolve. What can be is greater than what I know now, if I am willing to have clear eyes and heart to see and accept it as the Lord wills and brings it—and that involves residing and living in the middles, the ambiguious seasons, trusting that as I labor and trust the Lord, He will help me make of it what it should be, even if it requires loss in the process, an abrupt or delayed ending, or the transition to a new beginning.

I’m going through another thyroid surgery in less than a week—I had a first five and a half years ago. This has been a year of less than favorable health compared to the couple years prior, and in that, there has been the somber realization that I am guaranteed nothing in this life other than the Lord himself. Am I willing to accept that? What my answer to that question is determines so much of how I will live my life: will I live it in fear of the unknown and potential of declining health, either in the years to come or the inevitability of age? Will I live it in anger or frustration that I have to go through these things? Will I ignore it and push it off to the side and act like that question was never asked so I simply don’t deal with it? Or do I embrace the reality of the answer—that I am guaranteed nothing in this life other than Jesus himself—and let that be more than enough? If I can speak that last answer and live within its meaning, then my heart should be at rest and my joy should be full. Bring what trials this life may, but let it bring more of Jesus in them, and then the blessings that do come—may they be treasured as gifts of His love and reminders of His presence and sovereignty over my life. Nothing is guaranteed. In the years of life the Lord wills for me, its nature of longevity and what that looks like in my life depends on my willingness to allow things to adapt and change.

“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, for we do not wish to be unclothed by to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that which is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore, we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight.” –2 Corinthians 5:1-7

...

Nothing is forever except the love, faith, and salvation I have in the Lord. 

Redefinition

Today was a day in which I imagined it to be one type of day—quiet, simple, restful, and one to catch up a bit in. The husband is off at Men’s retreat for the weekend, and with the exception of a lovely afternoon neighborhood stroll with a friend this afternoon, I have been “alone” for the last 24+ hours. As I sit here, deep in the evening in a quiet apartment, that is the sentiment I took away from today.

Yet, as I really think about it—even the very definitions I applied to today really aren’t true to the fullest sense of those words. It was quieter, yes, but I had two skype calls and walks through crowds of people. It was restful, yes, but it was still a day where I had to put in some time for work. It was simple, yes, but how I chose to be simple today was to stick around my neighborhood—and in doing so, I walked along blocks of history with street fairs and festivals, combining the generations. I walked into neighborhood cathedrals built 150+ years ago, for worship that seems now of another time. I walked beside the waterfront park, another pier of recreation and views added to it, and what seemed to be a melting pot of ethnicies, walks of life, and ages all enjoying a common scene. The swings cradling adults reliving childhood joy, the open air courts with hard-core basketball players and the friendly “adults on kids” pick-up game, the benches lined with couples enthralled in love at dusk; the tables filled with ketchup and hot-dogs and soda with smoke, fire, and laughter pealing the air as the groups clustered.

Was this really a simple day? A quiet one? Even restful? It seems to defy my logic that it was, with all that today brought. But it was—for it was within “my world,” my neighborhood, my home.

Those things here, in their own essence, constantly press against the seams, waiting to be stretched into yet another redefinition, another perception. So little remains the same here. So much changes in life now—whether it comes by the subtle rise of hide tide and then its eventual receeding, or if it grows so rapidly like the new high rise building in development that gains a floor a day, changing how you have always viewed a horizon, and it will no longer be the same.

I’ve always been one to invest. To invest where I am, with whom I am with. I have a high sense of personal responsibility as well as the underlying drive of “this is the right thing to do.” In most seasons, it comes out clearly and obviously, in all areas of my life. These are the seasons where I am committed, fully engaged, and eventually run myself to the ground. And you know what the funny thing is?

I still don’t feel or think that I am doing enough.

I wish I could do more.

To do more than just working (though I forget I am running my own business); to do more than being and making a home and refuge for my husband and myself, to do more than meeting with people and listening, speaking love and truth when and where it is needed; to do more than being part of a church community and the various things it entails; to do more than just having passing conversations with my neighbors; to do more than going to appointments to take care of things; to just do more…

And for me—it’s hardly ever been about other’s perception or expectations of me. It’s because I believe so deeply in these things, or at least the principle of doing them, that it drives my thoughts and actions. In this doing more, I desire the good news of Jesus Christ to go forth, that it would be a natural overflow and output of my own actions. I want Him to be known and for others to know Him. That doing more=more abundance of the gospel. Yet I continue to be humbled in that I physically cannot do more. I’m having to reconcile the truth that He must become greater; I must become less. And in that, in my limitations, that I would seek Him for His abundance of grace and power—for the presence of His Holy Spirit.  For Him to move when and where I cannot.

Because ultimately—it is Him who moves, Him who gives, Him who leads, Him who takes away.

I come back to this passage often; every time I do, I am reminded of His sovereignty and presence, His glory and power, and His intimate love for his people. And when I walk this city, even just my own neighborhood where reality continues to defy logic or the possible amount that one could absorb—this brings me back.

So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.  What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “ ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, for we are indeed his offspring. Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” —Acts 17:22-31

It says all that I struggle to. It is the truth that I know deep within my heart, and it is the truth I see this world needing. It reminds me that He seeks us, He seeks those who do not yet know Him, and that He has abundant power over the world—He is not a raw image or being sculpted by the wills of our imagination and nature—He is Creator, Savior, Redeemer.

And when all of my definitions for other words that define my days continue to take on new meaning that I adjust to—I am thankful He is constant. When all of my desires and efforts, whether present or absent, continue to fall short of what I hope they would bear—I must remember He does not need me. In this crazy city we live—I trust He has determined this allotted period of time and this boundary of our dwelling place. In this life and breath and everything—may I continue to seek God, know Him, bear His image and be ready to speak, for He is not far from each of us, and He desires us to feel our way toward Him and find Him.

To remember, that in these seasons where I feel incredibly quiet with not much to say, to trust that He holds it all and I can become less as He becomes greater. That is a needed redefinition.

In Process

Picture taken from http://www.sha.org/bottle/body.htm

Last weekend, we talked about glass. Glass, in its hot liquid form, on the edge of a blowpipe after we collected it from the molten in the furnace and kept turning the pipe so it wouldn’t drip. It was rolled into a solid cylinder on a marble table and reheated again in a glory hole before came the first blow. Lips upon pipe, all breath sent down a long steel pole to create a bubble within the solid molten. Then, back to the glory hole to reheat. After, another blow, this time to expand the molten into something resembling a sphere. From there, the process could be repeated—the reheating, the blowing, the marvering and blocking—all while constantly turning the pipe to keep things centered, to make whatever you chose to. Or, for those limited, whatever you could possibly churn out before the glass became too thin, too cool, or too lopsided. 

We remembered our days in that lab, all skin covered and wet socks on our hands. We remembered seeing it done by our professor and the excitement that came from what seemed to be a relatively simple procedural process. He made a vase. He made a glass. He made a flower. He made and made, on and on, beauty again and again displayed effortlessly, as he sought to teach the craft to those willing.

Three years later, I saw the bookcase that once stood in the apartment we called ours. My best friend and I, taking one last college class together, produced a collection that would stand in no other gallery other than our own. I remembered our collection of lopsided bubbles, vases thicker on one side than the other, flowers that could be called somewhat abstract, and a glass that was triumphant just because it made it out in one piece. We participated in a beautiful craft over the course of 10 weeks, but it was much harder and far more humbling than we ever anticipated it to be. We found that when working with glass, you could get two out of the three elements right, but there would always be the third one that would trip us up—whether it would be the temperature of the glass not remaining optimal, air holes or uneven structure within the molten, or forgetting to. Always. Keep. Turning. The. Blowpipe. So from week to week, we would learn and improve slightly, but never get anywhere close to our professor who had been doing it for decades.

In my last two years of high school, I focused on ceramic work, and got into using the potter’s wheel. In that, there were also three main elements—thickness, whether it was centered, and moistness—but the difference between clay and glass is that clay is far more forgiving in its creation process. You can always stop the potter’s wheel to observe it, add more water, and then turn it back on and continue. In glass, the process must keep moving in some forms at all times in the creation of a piece.

I found it fitting that ceramic work came in high school—a time when things are markedly more black and white, easier viewed as “success” or “fail,” and the fact that the learning process was far more forgiving. Again, I found it fitting that glassblowing came at the end of college—a time where my world was to change with marriage, with moving away, with a year of transition, and a time of still being in some form of transition three years later—the process has been much more dynamic, much more involved, and harder and humbling than anticipated at many moments. It’s as if questions are asked constantly. There is always some form of evaluation going on, whether intrinsically or externally. There is always some progression of moving forward, mixed in with others that remain stationary for a while, and like a glassblower with a pipe of molten glass, you’re faced with answering one of many questions that will lead to a different result this time around—do you keep blowing? Do you open it up? Do you add color? Do you warm it up for a while? Do you call it done and move onto the next piece?

I remember my parents often saying when I was growing up and thought I knew almost everything, that when I got older, the world wouldn’t be as black and white and the more that I learned, the more that I knew I had to learn. We have heard words like these generations over generations, yet we each have to reach this realization for ourselves. There are so many things at play in a given time. So, we seek to create to the best of our ability at the present, with hopes that we will grow.

My husband and I look at each other in conversation across the glass dinner table often—so glad and thankful for what God has done, where He has placed us, what we are able to do and be a part of, yet we are often exhausted in it as well. We attempt to physically rest as we can, but moreso, spiritually rest in the One whom we believe to be certain, unchanging. He is an ever patient Father and teacher, yet also one with a passion of love and jealousy as uncontainable as the molten glass in the furnace. I know He is zealous for my affections and my time. And as I’ve been reminded lately in the feeling of being overwhelmed by the prospect of adding more things to do on top of what I am already doing—it’s not about adding more things, it’s about doing more with what He has already placed before me, what He already has me doing. Not that this entry is ultimately about glass—but for final metaphor’s stake, it would be something like registering for a glassblowing class again the following quarter if I were still in college, and laboring in the good days and hard days. I would seek to continue learning and improving in that which was difficult, because that is often the process of ultimately making something beautiful and of worth, regardless of the form it eventually ends up taking.

Awake

© Elise Grinstead 2013
The winter lades us bare…the branches have long forgone their leaves—sheltered their stems of life to preserve itself in the cold that lies ahead. The contrast of night and day are more stark, as one seems to end abruptly in the beginning of another—there is no melting transition in the setting of the sun and the warmth gradually conceding to slightly lower temperatures. The sinful condition seems more inherently recognized in myself, as I too, seem to be laid bare also. I tend to withdraw into more contemplative, solitary states, and sometimes the days feel as a sluggish trudging, one day after another as I await the days of longer light and warmth.

But, I too remember the fields of snow upon which the moonlight casts its glow, the blankets of freshness and provision over all that lies barren. In the presence of its stillness, I remember the purposes of the Father in creating such seasons. In all that can be depravity, in all that can be broken in this life—there is redemption, our sins once crimson covered and made as white as snow. The snow blankets and the moonlight shows what is pure—only that can be fully illuminated to show its beauty—not the shadows of the twisted branches and thirsty ground beneath.

Such pictures and reminders of grace.

I always long for spring. I long for the visual reminders of the hope I know to be true to be manifested—that there is life after death, a regeneration of what is new pushing forth what has been left behind. A pace that is measured, a process awakened by thawing and greater supply of light. That day after day, it may seem slow, yet it is in the perfect time for new life to come forth. I look at the stems, the buds, the breaking ground…I know that it is coming and it will soon be found.

I await. I awake.

That one week I walk under flowering trees, then the next under spring fresh leaves, then thereafter under deep green canopies—a reminder that there is growth in the midst of change. Some things once deemed cast off can once again be brought into what is now known as redeemed. There is indeed the promise of life after death, the revival after brokenness; the flourishing after barrenness.
So come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up….he will revive us…he will raise us up that we may live before him.

Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:1-3
Such words and reminders of redemption.

Jehovah Jireh

© Elise Grinstead 2013

Jehovah Jireh. 
The Lord will provide. As Abraham so named the mount where he was asked to lay his son Isaac upon the fire as a sacrifice, it is there we see the passion and mercy of God. (Genesis 22)

Jehovah Jireh.
Abraham first had to walk the road with his son, wood on Isaac’s back and fire in Abraham’s hand, in full faith that God knew the intended outcome of walking on such a road with such a strong request. Abraham, whether he was filled with sadness or bewilderment at God asking him to give his son, or whether he was filled with confidence and trust in the Lord’s sovereignty, or if he fell somewhere in between those two ends, he still walked the road.

Jehovah Jireh.
When Isaac himself noticed there was no lamb for the offering, and asked Abraham where the offering was, Abraham replies “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." Prophetic in nature both not for just him and Isaac, but also of God the Father and His Son, Jesus—in this moment Abraham speaks out of trust. Whether the outcome of God’s command was to be fulfilled or something else to happen instead—the answer is the same. God will provide.

Jehovah Jireh.
In the moment that is not spoken of but we can fill in the gaps of what transpired—Isaac and Abraham built the altar and it was then mutually recognized that Isaac was to be the sacrifice. In submission to his father and God, Isaac is bound and laid upon the altar. In trust of God and denial of all fatherly instincts, Abraham binds up his son, the one declared to be the fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham.

Jehovah Jireh.
The knife is above Abraham’s head to slay his beloved son—the apex of such a trust and walking forth fully into what is commanded.

Jehovah Jireh.
Upon such a sight and action—is God still good? When such things call us to forsake all of our instincts and instead trust in the sovereignty and provision of the Lord in what He has asked us to do, regardless of what the outcome may be? That we may slay what we hold dear on this earth, as a sign of our devotion to God? These are hard questions…yet—

Jehovah Jireh. 
The angel of the Lord appears and commands Abraham to relent and release the knife, for it was shown that Abraham truly fears and obeys God—he did not withhold even the most precious thing to him. And in consistent character for Abraham, he looks abreast and sees a ram caught in the thickets, and this he captures and provides as the sacrifice instead of Isaac.

Jehovah Jireh. 
Upon the angel appearing and calling off the whole action, Abraham does not become flabbergasted. He does not cry such things as “why did you even have me go through this if you didn’t intend for me to kill Isaac?” No, instead, he follows what He knows to be true—the Lord will provide—and immediately sees the Lord’s provision in the ram.

What began in trust that the Lord would provide ended in trust that the Lord did—even though what ended up happening was completely different. God provided the Lamb—Jehovah Jireh.

In faith, we so often balk at what the Lord puts before us and asks us to do. If the outcome of what He asks is not desirable or does not appear logical, we easily write if off as something crazy being asked of us. Surely He would not ask us to do such a thing? Surely He would not lead us down such a way? Surely He would not bring about such results?

We are so often cynics of our own faith. Cynical in what we profess to be true, because when it’s asked of us to actually walk it, it seems too far-fetched. No, that’s not meant for me. I’m doing just fine here. Cynical because instead of trusting the journey to bring about what God intends for it to, rather than focusing on the possible results, we self-create our own chasm between what is reasonable for faith to provide and when faith is asking too much of us. Sometimes we have a choice to walk down a road and other times we are thrust down it unwillingly, due to circumstances. There, we easily say, it is too much, I didn’t ask for this, or, it is not enough for what You are asking me to give up. And in such statements, we essentially say and believe…

Jehovah Jireh.
God cannot or will not provide. But in reality, we don’t receive the Lord’s provision because we are unwilling to receive what it may be. Closed fisted and closed mouth like a child who will not eat the nourishment given by his parents for what is good for him, we simply refuse because it doesn’t look good, right, or desirable. And therefore, we struggle against the One who ultimately knows what is best.

But by faith…

“We understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”1

By Faith…

“we have the assurance of things hoped for, [yet] the conviction of things not seen.”2

And without faith…

“it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”3

And by faith…

We gain approval, though we do not receive what was promised, because God has provided and will provide something better for us.4

So, we must walk the road to our own mount where we too can see and name God to be…

Jehovah Jireh.

1: Hebrews 11:3
2: Hebrews 11:1
3: Hebrews 11:6
4: Hebrews 11:39-40