Harold Fry has faith. He believes that if he walks from Devon to Berwick-upon-Tweed he can keep Queenie Hennessy alive. He has received a card from her, and she is very ill. But Harold wants to see her again. And so he walks. And others join him. And meanwhile his wife is at home wondering what on earth is going on. We are more than flesh and bone. More than what we can see and touch. Harold doesn’t believe in God, but he does believe in something more. Faith is the assurance in what we hope for, the confidence in what we cannot see, so the writer of Hebrews tells us. The Message version is a little more specific, it says this – ‘this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.’ We all believe in things unseen. We reach for the tap trusting that water will come out. We switch on the tablet trusting the screen will light up. Presumable that’s why get frustrated when things don’t work. We fully trusted that they would.
CS Lewis wrestled to not believe in God. Yet had to give in. He couldn’t argue that Jesus was only a moral teacher, Jesus said too many things about himself which indicated he was more than that. Down the ages millions of followers have found that faith in Jesus doesn’t make everything right, it does not make life easier, for many it brings its own difficulties. But they have found that when Jesus promised to be with us in all we face he was telling the truth. He never deserts us. Never forgets us. Never looks away when we get into another mess. Never stops believing in us, even if we stop believing in ourselves. And he offers a place where we can bring all the joys and troubles, all the fears and frustrations. We are not left carrying them alone. He offers to help us. ‘Come to me with your burdens and heavy mess, and I will help you find rest and hope. Let me show you my way.’ (Matthew 11 v 28-30.)