“It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command.” Hebrews 11:23
I have a coaster that sits on my nightstand by my bedside. It’s a special coaster because of what it says on it. On the coaster is a photograph of Martin Luther King Jr. with the words: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” I read it every night before I go to bed, and it helps me to re-center my mind, surrender the day, and bring my faith to the forefront before I go to sleep.
This quote, to me, epitomizes two things that are essential to a meaningful life: vision and faith. If I were to stand on the edge of a cliff and say, “God help me,” and then jump off, that might demonstrate faith but would lack vision because of the sheer desperation and stupidity of my actions. On the flip side, if I really wanted to approach the precipice to look out over the edge of the cliff to see the beauty of the valley but was crippled by the unrealistic fear of the cliff tumbling beneath my feet and bringing me with it, then that would lack faith. I love Martin Luther King’s quote because it integrates both vision and faith. You might not be able to see the top of the staircase, but you can take one step after another and trust your direction. To use another metaphor, faith is the engine and vision is the car. You can’t see the engine, but it’s moving the car.
In Hebrews 11:23, we read about how Moses’s parents hid him for three months after he was born. They had vision in seeing that he was no ordinary child and had faith to quench any fear that they might have had about the king’s edict declaring that all male infants be killed. Disobeying pharaoh, if discovered, could have resulted in death, but their faith in God birthed a loving vision for their son. Vision is daring to see what you can’t see. Faith is believing in that vision and surrendering it to God. Similarly, James writes in 2:18: “Now someone may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ But I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.’”
May we be inspired to integrate both faith and vision in how we live. To take the first step even when we don’t see the whole staircase. To trust that the staircase is leading us somewhere good and mysterious and loving.
Does your vision tend to lack faith or your faith tend to lack vision? Give an example.
How can you live more out of love instead of fear? How can you live more out of place of surrender instead of control?
How can you incorporate both vision and faith in a staircase you’re climbing? Is the “staircase” you’re envisioning taking you somewhere toward love, justice, selflessness, or grace—or is it to a selfish place?