by Marilyn Ehle
“Now we see only a reflection in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully… “ 1 Corinthians 13:12
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1(The Living Bible)
Almost every winter while living in central Germany, we would vacation in the Austrian Alps. We had discovered a small village with relatively inexpensive housing, enough cafés to supply plentiful coffee for me, and all the snow-covered ski slopes my husband desired. The week we spent in that delightful area was much anticipated after our busy lifestyle in which we were surrounded by the constant call of people’s needs.
The travel time from our home to our destination was about seven hours. During the first few hours in the car, my mind swirled with thoughts of what I had left behind: Did I turn off the stove? Did I pack enough woolen socks? Had I called Ann to take over that meeting?
The next part of the journey found me gradually relaxing. Tension and stress slowly seeped from mind and body. My husband and I began to chat about the coming days: the quiet village that lay ahead, a favorite restaurant for an evening dinner, old friends we would again meet.
But before crossing the border and nearing the snowy, quiet village, my feelings mirrored anticipation. I could almost taste the coffee, see the small, steepled church, hear the crunch of snow under my boots. In the mountains of southern Germany covered with snow-laden trees and small towns tucked into valleys, I saw the hint of things to come.
C.S. Lewis wrote that we live between the now and not yet. The Bible says that we have a “sure and certain hope,” but here in the reality of life we face the tragedies of war and disease. We have God’s promise that He will never leave nor forsake us, but we still realistically face each day and event with the knowledge that we live in a broken world. And so we travel all the miles with confident assurance of both God’s current and eternal presence.
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