On the ride home from picking my daughter up after school, she mentioned we couldn’t see God. I knew this parenting moment would eventually happen. The moment she would ponder if God was real, because she could not tangibly see Him.
But before I could launch into my speech on how He is very real, she told me to hold out my hand and breathe air into it.
So I did.
She then told me air was like God. Even though I could not see my breath, I knew it was there by feeling it.
Goodness, she made that conversation so much easier with her five-year-old certainty, than any explanation I could have come up with. My girl was feeling filled with faith.
Praise God for the teacher who had shared that lesson with her at school.
But isn’t this a fundamental problem many have with faith? To believe in something you cannot see, can be challenging. At least, it has been for me at various moments in my Christian walk. I think of Thomas, one of the twelve disciples who refused to believe Christ had risen from the grave, for he had not seen the risen Lord as the others:
“Now Thomas was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’
But he said to them, ‘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.’
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’
Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’
Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'”
John 20: 24-29
Goodness, I can be a doubting Thomas sometimes. Can you? But when a Thomas mentality begins to creep into my mind, creating doubt that cracks my faith, I instead cry out to God, as Thomas did. And do you know what happens? I feel the Lord. Just like my daughter explained feeling the air on our hands. I don’t feel His scars with my fingers, but I am filled with His love in my very soul. I am blessed.
This entire scenario between Thomas and the Lord must have been a powerful one witnessed by the 12 disciples, because one of those disciples, Peter, later references Jesus’ words in a letter to Christians scattered in the region of Asia. He wrote:
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 1:8-9
Peter understood we CAN love and believe in a Jesus we have not physically met. When we choose to believe, we are filled so we can feel His joy. Such joyous faith, leads to salvation for our souls.
If you are feeling some doubt. If your faith is cracked. Would you do something for me?
Hold out your hand and breathe on it. Be reminded that just because you cannot see Him, that does not mean He fails to exist. Then, choose faith. Cry out to God, like Thomas, and be filled with unexplainable joy.