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Believing in Advance What Only Makes Sense In Reverse

In a German prison camp in World War II, unbeknownst to the guards, the Americans built a makeshift radio. One day news came that the German high command had surrendered, ending the war—a fact that, because of a communications breakdown, the German guards did not yet know. As word spread, a loud celebration broke out.

For three days, the prisoners were hardly recognizable. They sang, waved at guards, laughed at the German shepherd dogs, and shared jokes over meals. On the fourth day, they awoke to find that all the Germans had fled, leaving the gates unlocked. The time of waiting had come to an end.

And here is the question I ask myself: As we Christians face contemporary crises, why do we respond with such fear and anxiety? Why don't we, like the Allied prisoners, act on the Good News we say we believe? What is faith, after all, but believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse?

- Philip Yancey, "Global Suspense," in Christianity Today, March 2005
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