What Does it Mean to Believe?

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope fore and certain of what we do not see.” -Hebrews 11:1

I love the movie Interstellar. Aside from the brilliant special effects, the gripping suspense, and the spectacular acting, the movie illustrates themes that are extremely relevant to Christian life.

In the movie, the Earth is plagued by blight and famine. Coop (portrayed by Matthew McConaughey) sets out on a mission to save the human race from extinction by searching for another habitable planet. Before he leaves, Coop promises his young daughter, Murph, that he will come back, even though he doesn’t know when. Throughout the course of the movie, Murph (portrayed by Jessica Chastain) struggles to maintain faith in her father’s promise. Years pass, and no word comes from her father. She attempts to send messages to him, pleading with him to come back, asking if he just left her to die. The world begins to lose hope in his mission, and Murph almost does too. But when he finally returns, she says, “Nobody believed me, but I knew you’d come back . . . because my dad promised me.”

The Reality

My uncle died yesterday. He was the fourth member of my family I have seen succumb to cancer in the last seven years. Sometimes I wonder how so much grief could come to one family. But if it were only one family, you could almost pass it off as bad luck. When I look around, I see people hurting everywhere. An earthquake kills thousands of people. A city tears itself apart. Events like these make me want to cry out, like Jessica Chastain in the movie, “Now would be a really good time for you to come back.”

I must admit sometimes it seems that if there is a God in the universe, he must have abandoned us. That we are alone in a dying world. But I must not let tribulation or doubt prevent me from crying out to God. Even if my prayers seem like a message in a bottle, they’re better than no prayers at all. Sometimes my prayer will be, “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise!” Sometimes it will be, “I won’t let you go unless you bless me!” And sometimes it will be, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” It takes faith to continue speaking to God, even when there is no proof that he is listening.

The book of Hebrews says that “without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” I believe that God exists even if I can’t see him. I believe that he is good even if bad things happen. And I believe that Jesus is coming back, even if I don’t understand his timing. To stop believing would be to give up, and I am not ready to do that.

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