Is Seeing Really Believing?
“ … Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen me and yet have believed.”
“I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Oh, the many times I have uttered that statement to myself. And sometimes aloud to others. It’s usually a response to something I’ve heard or witnessed or been promised that is just too good to be true.
Like products on television infomercials, for example. ShamWow towels, anyone? They promise to “hold 12 times their weight in liquid,” save you money in the long run since they “last 10 years,” and will have you saying “wow” every time. And all I can do is roll my eyes, yawn and change the channel.
The younger me believed everything I saw advertised on the tube. And I also thought the best of everyone and never doubted for a minute that someone might be exaggerating or overselling. But today’s older and wiser me is more skeptical upon hearing claims laden with such hyperbole.
And when it comes to faith, the funny thing is this: I have never considered myself a “Doubting Thomas.” I have always thought that I fully believed all that God is and does and can do in my life without having to see any type of evidence that he is working.
I’ve joined along singing “Trust and Obey” in church services. I’ve recited Proverbs 3:5-6 and written it on numerous sticky notes. And I’ve read my share of books about living not by sight. But deep down, I know that I don’t always believe that God is everything he says he is. I don’t always trust that he is able to do whatever he wills in my life. And I doubt, just like Thomas did.
When Jesus appeared to the disciples after his resurrection (John 20:19-23), he showed up in a room of a house that was locked. He then revealed his hands and his side (visible proof of where the nails and spear had pierced him). Although he was one of the twelve, Thomas was elsewhere at the time and missed out on this first appearance.
“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it,” he said (John 20:25).
A week later, and back in the same locked house, Jesus appeared again to the disciples. And this time, Thomas was there. “Put your finger here,” Jesus said to him. “Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
At that, Thomas cried out, “My Lord and my God!” And he believed.
I think about this lightbulb moment that Thomas had and wonder how God is making himself visible in my life today. When I think I’m not seeing him or evidence of his work in my life, when I don’t believe that something is possible through him or don’t trust that he has got me in the palm of his hands, well … I am just like Thomas was.
Why won’t I open my eyes, see the light and get a glimpse of how God is present in my life today? I may not see his glorious presence with the naked eye, but if I look closely I can see how he is blessing me. And I know that he will continue to reveal what he wants me to see, as he proves himself through his work in my life and in the world around me.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
Are you a skeptic like Thomas was? In what matter do you have unbelief today? Fill in the blank and make this your prayer: “Father, I know that you can do all things. I believe that you sent your Son to die in my place and that Jesus is Lord. You are in control of __________ and have a plan and a purpose. Even though I don’t always have visible proof, help me rest in knowing that you are working all things together for your good (Romans 8:28). Amen.”
1 Peter 1:8