By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
Faith always involves the unseen. In 2 Corinthians 5:7 Paul declares, “We walk by faith, not by sight.”
Faith involves the unseen God. Faith involves the yet unseen actions of God to deliver us and rescue us and protect us. We trust God for that which is not yet visible to us.
Noah is a prime example. When God called Noah to build an enormous ark, there was no flood in sight. There was no rain. There was no storm. There was not even a decent beach!
And yet God said to build it. So Noah, by faith, started building.
So often in our lives we want clarity. We want to see what God is doing, how God will deliver us, exactly what will happen. But God is more concerned that we trust him for what is yet unclear, for what is still unseen.
In Ruthless Trust, Philip Yancey tells a marvelous story about Mother Teresa:
When the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh went to work for three months at “the house of the dying” in Calcutta, he was seeking a clear answer as to how best to spend the rest of his life. On the first morning there he met Mother Teresa. She asked, “And what can I do for you?
Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she asked.
He voiced the request that he had borne thousands of miles from the United States: “Pray that I have clarity.”
She said firmly, “No, I will not do that.”
When he asked her why, she said, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.”
When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”
God will give us clarity when we need it. Meanwhile, he wants us to trust him for the unseen, for the uncertain, for the unclear.