Monday, August 4, 2014

Believing Is Seeing

I was reading a meditation from one of my favorite devotionals, "Streams In The Desert." A particular line jumped out at me, "believing is seeing." I thought about this concept for awhile and recognized that the world is wedded to the notion that "seeing is believing". The question occurred to me, what do people really see? Is seeing relegated to that which is tangible and visible? If I can put my hands on it and experience it with all my senses then I can know it's real? However, our so-called "knowledge" can be oh so flawed. Our knowledge is usually tainted with pride. I began thinking about the account in John 20:19-31 where the resurrected Lord appeared to the disciples and then to Thomas. I wondered why did Thomas fail to believe his fellow disciples when they reported that they had seen the Lord? Thomas appeared to be operating out of the "seeing is believing" mode. What if he had responded differently to the news and simply accepted with gladness the fact that Jesus had risen? Would the Lord then have reappeared in that moment as Thomas believed and thus could see? I noticed that Jesus waited one week before appearing again to confront Thomas. Why? Did the Lord want Thomas perhaps to wrestle with what he had heard from the other disciples? When we believe first, then we become so much more open to seeing God manifesting Himself in so many different ways. If we insist on seeing first, we close ourselves off to God's Presence right in front of us. I believe this was a part of Jesus' point to Thomas when He told him, Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29b) These are the people who open themselves up to truly seeing the Lord moving in their midst. One of my favorite contemporary Christian artists is Steven Curtis Chapman. Several years ago, his young adopted daughter, Maria, was killed in the family's driveway when their son accidentally ran over her. It was a devastating time for all involved especially their son who was behind the wheel. Out of that painful experience, Steven's wife, Mary Beth Chapman wrote a book entitled, "Choosing To SEE." In the book she shares intimate details of the family's life before and after the death of their daughter. The book allowed her to work through her own personal grief while her husband produced a CD entitled, "Beauty Will Rise" as his way of working through the trauma. After the funeral and the family's attempt to live with a new "normal" Steven and Mary Beth were looking through Maria's toys. They found a piece of paper with a flower drawn in crayon. There were six petals which they surmised represented the members of the family. However, only one of the petals was colored in blue. Next to the drawing, Maria had written the word, "SEE." The Chapman's believe this was their daughter's way of saying goodbye and uniquely telling them to see beyond their grief. To believe that all is well in the presence of her Heavenly Father. That one simple word, "SEE" was the healing balm they needed for their souls. I feel this is God's word to me. Believe so you can "SEE." I pray that you will move beyond the limitations that this world places on us and believe in the Lord so that you may truly "SEE."
Peace In Christ, Pastor Sheree

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