Friday, June 13, 2008

Do You Believe?

The Apostle Thomas gave his name to the phrase "doubting Thomas" when he responded to the news of Christ's resurrection with, "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." Jesus eventually gave Thomas the physical proof he demanded, but He also chided him with, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (See John 20:24-29.)

Lest we be too hard on Thomas, let us remember that he stands out only because he missed the earliest appearances of the risen Christ; not one of the disciples believed the news when they first heard it! If they wanted proof Jesus had come back, His promise that He would--combined with their having personally seen His miracles and never having known Him to be wrong--should have convinced them even before they saw Him in person. They failed to believe, because they were caught up in their preconceived ideas of what was impossible.

And if we want proof that God will always be there for us, His promise that He will--combined with all the times He has provided for us in the past--should be enough. Often we won't let it be, because we remain caught up in our preconceived ideas of how (and how quickly) He should handle a situation.

Our faith doesn't deserve the name if, like the Israelites in the wilderness, we toss it aside every time the least little thing goes wrong.

Do you believe in light,
Even when in the dark?
Do you fear, when the sun sets,
That it is for good?
No; you trust that the day
Will soon come back again:
Do you trust God's own Light, then,
The way you should?

Do you believe in air,
In the invisible?
Do you fear it will sneak off
Before your next breath?
No; though you see it not,
You still have faith in it:
Do you trust God's own Life, then,
Though facing death?

Do you believe in love,
In what no eyes have seen?
Do you fear all your loved ones
Are lying to you?
No, though you read no minds,
You still trust others' hearts:
Do you trust God's own Love, then,
Mighty and true?

Do you believe in God,
In the Unfathomable,
He Who cares for the hurting
And soothes those who grieve?
We, who now walk in faith,
One day shall look at Him:
We, blessed not to have yet seen,
But to believe.

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