The order of nothingness


Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. Hebrews 11:1-3

We tend to think of our world in terms of tangibles – things we can touch, feel and acquire. Houses. Cars. Our bodies. The physical environment around us.

We define our worth by the way we interact with and possess the physical world. But all of these “things seen” fade into insignificance in the light of the word of God – in the light of things not seen.

Science tells us the world around us is 99.9999999 percent nothing. Our bodies, the mountains, trees – it’s all composed of less than 0.0000001 percent tangible matter. The rest of that 99.9999999 percent of everything is a mass-less soup of kinetic energy and electromagnetic forces pushing against each other.

If you took away all the “nothingness” in the atoms of our bodies – the primary unit of our human identity – the volume of what’s left in all seven billion of us would fit into the space of a very dense sugar cube.

In a very real sense, then, everything that is seen is made from things that are not visible, and that remain largely a mystery to science. Everything we focus on in this world is nothingness, ordered and called into physical being by the word of God. Take away the ordering forces of our atoms, the Word that makes all things seen, and our bodies and our physical world is more empty than the reaches of outer space.

This apparent emptiness can cause an existential conflict with our estimation of the worth of life itself, if we lose sight of the ordering power of God’s Word, “the conviction of things not seen.” 

Our conviction, then, is not for what is seen – for our bodies and the physical world we so often attempt to conquer and acquire. Our conviction is for the unseen ordering Word of God, for the purpose of ushering in and serving the “the assurance of things hoped for” in the Kingdom of God.

God, give us today the strength of faith in the ordering power of your Word, and to strive beyond the limits of the physical world to attain your Kingdom. Amen.

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