One of the best parts of growing up was gathering with family and listening to the stories passed down from older generations. Some were far-fetched, but there was always some semblance of truth sprinkled within the sentences. As I grew older, my stories became listening affairs during our holiday celebrations and small reunions. Tales that were less fun in the present carried their weight in gold.
Creating those memories in a time before smartphones and the internet meant you relied on witnesses to back you up. (We didn’t all have camcorders to capture the details.) Our witnesses guaranteed our trustworthiness, even without recorded footage. Many of my stories were about teenagers being teenagers, but the best accounts were about basketball.
My oldest daughter is going into eighth grade and also plays basketball. Naturally, I offered up my sage wisdom throughout her last season, but she never followed my advice. This summer, I finally asked why she chose not to listen. She said, “I don’t believe your basketball glory days happened. Where’s the proof?”
Can anyone doubt you more than a teenager? Apparently, my daughter’s stance is that seeing is believing. And she’s certainly not the only one with this outlook.
25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
Thomas, who had once faithfully followed Jesus, doubted what his fellow disciples believed. For Thomas, any future belief would be on his terms. Jesus could’ve demanded Thomas fall in line, but he understood that Thomas had missed out on what the others had witnessed.
Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
Not everyone is given the unique position to witness the glory of Jesus the way Thomas and the disciples did. This reminds me of the quote by Joseph Solomon. “I’m not telling you to have a blind faith. I’m telling you to consider the blind men who had faith and believed my words before they were even able to see me.” It’s sometimes easier said than done, but the world is full of true stories of people who believed without seeing.
Do you take your questions to God? Are you open to receiving the answers?
Read your Bible to understand God’s word instead of relying only on what others say about the Bible. Join a Group to experience new seasons with other Christians. Build relationships, and don’t be ashamed to voice your doubts.
Father God, forgive me when I live in my doubts instead of trying to understand the source. Grant me the wisdom to understand the answers to the questions I bring to you. Help me discover new ways to connect with you and revisit the old ways that served me well. Amen.
This post was written by Jaron Camp. Jaron is a storyteller and a professional ghostwriter who enjoys using his gifts to write for the LivingItOut. When he’s not developing fictional worlds, researching, and writing, Jaron enjoys watching sports, participating in family game night, and spending time with his wife and four kids.
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