Imagine two young children at the corner of a busy intersection. Cars fly by. Large trucks approach and roar through. The children need to get to the other side of the street.
One child has his father by his side. He places his hand in the hand of his father, and he trusts that the parent will get him across the dangerous intersection safely.
The other child is alone. He believes, or trusts, that he’ll be able to run to the other side of the street before that big, white semi gets to the intersection.
Both children are trusting. The first is trusting his father. The second is trusting himself. Yet both, one might say, have “faith.”
All “faith” is not equal. What matters most is the object of one’s faith. Is it smart for a little child to trust himself to cross a street safely? Adults know that this is not a good idea. Children do best when they trust a responsible, loving parent.
In this important sense, then, faith should not be blind at all. It is a child whose eyes are wide open who knows that he can’t get across the street by himself. It is a child whose eyes are wide open who recognizes reality—that Dad can be trusted—and joyfully places all confidence in that person. Faith is not blind. Faith is confidence that depends on being able to see clearly.
Some might say, though, that when it comes to God, faith must be blind. Who today has ever seen God?
It is true that I cannot see God with my two eyes. But just because human eyes cannot see something does not mean that this “something” is not real. Every human being, without ever being taught, has an inborn awareness that there must be a God. Look around at the many, many world religions to be reminded that humans naturally conclude there is a divine being, something real which we cannot see.
There is something else we know just naturally. Humans are born with some awareness of “right” and “wrong.” We have an inborn fear of dying that is connected to that knowledge of right and wrong. We do not want to meet the one who might punish us for doing wrong, that divine judge we can’t see but know is real.
So, something can be real even though we cannot see it.
When the true God blesses an individual with the gift of true faith, there is something else real that one can suddenly see and know: God came to earth in the person of Jesus and suffered eternal punishment for the wrongs of the whole world. In Jesus I have forgiveness. In Jesus the judge will give me eternal life.
Can my two eyes see this? Not now. But faith can see.
Is such a faith blind to reality? Such faith is placing confidence in the only One who can be completely trusted, the Father who can get us safely across the street of life to a happy “other side.” Faith is not blind to reality. Faith alone can see.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1