I parked my bicycle, fingering my map of Cambridge for reassurance. Directions not being my strength, I knew I could easily get lost in this maze of roads bursting with historic buildings.
Life should have felt idyllic, for I had just married my Englishman and moved to the UK. But I felt adrift. When I kept my mouth closed I blended in, but when I spoke I immediately felt branded as an American tourist. I didn’t yet know what my role was, and I quickly realized that blending two stubborn people into one shared life was harder than I had anticipated.
I related to Abraham, who left all that he knew as he obeyed the Lord’s call to live as a foreigner and stranger in a new land (Gen. 12:1). He pressed through the cultural challenges while keeping faith in God, and 2,000 years later the writer to the Hebrews named him a hero (11:9). Like the other men and women listed in this chapter, Abraham lived by faith, longing for things promised, hoping and waiting for his heavenly home.
Perhaps you’ve always lived in the same town, but as Christ-followers we’re all foreigners and strangers on this earth. By faith we press forward, knowing that God will lead and guide us, and by faith we believe He will never leave nor abandon us. By faith we long for home.
Father God, I want to live by faith, believing Your promises and knowing that You welcome me into Your kingdom. Enlarge my faith, I pray.
God calls us to live by faith, believing that He will fulfill His promises.
Hebrews 11 has been referred to as the “Hall of Faith.” Its contents celebrate the deep and impressive faith of our spiritual ancestors. Their faith, demonstrated through their actions, is put on display by the writer of Hebrews for the encouragement of those who follow in their spiritual footsteps. The examples of those who have preceded us—those who lived as “foreigners and strangers on earth” (v. 13)—help us to fix our eyes on Jesus (12:2). This focus allows us to press on toward a “country of [our] own” (11:14).