Seeing Is Believing... Or Is It?

The area where I work is dotted with large lots and homes. There aren't many fences, but there are a lot of dogs that all remain on their property as we walk by. Recently, I was on a walk with a lady that I support, and three dogs were running around their yard. She turned to me and said, "We should go back. The dogs are coming." I explained that they don't leave their yard because they wear a special receiver collar, and the perimeter of the yard has an invisible fence — an underground transmitting wire. It took some reassurance that even though she could not see the fence, it was in fact there. It was only through her trusting me about what was unseen that we were able to walk past this yard.

I am sure that we have all heard the idiom "Seeing is believing" at some point in our lives. It is the watchword of people who don't believe in God or the supernatural. But in spiritual matters, it is very seldom true. If we could see, why would we need to have faith? "For we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV) Thomas, one of the earliest disciples, had difficulty believing that Jesus had really risen from the dead, until he could place his finger in Jesus' wounds. Jesus had us in mind in His response:

John 20:29 – Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (NIV)

What about us when are faced with fear or uncertainty? Do we trust in God's unseen sovereignty and His personal care for us, or do we just melt? Often, as believers, we know the right answers, and yet at times, we still continue with our own unbelief.

Mark 9:24b – I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! (NIV)

Prayer needs to be accompanied by believing without seeing, as we ask God for that which is not yet. As a new believer, I found it extremely puzzling how people could pray and then leave it with God. As my faith developed, I began to see how God answered — even unseen answers to prayers that I had long since forgotten about. Through a prayer journal, I was able to go back and see the answered prayers.

Sharing our faith is an act of stepping out in trust, believing for someone's salvation without seeing. Coming to faith doesn't always happen through one interaction, but rather, as the Bible states, through the sowing of seeds.

Mark 4:27 – Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. (NIV)

Just as a farmer places seeds into soil, so we must also plant the truth of Jesus into souls. Like the farmer who trusts in unseen growth, we, too, must trust in God's work.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we do believe, and we want others to know Your love. Help us in our unbelief to become strong and stand for You — the way, and the truth — so that others may come to You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Julie Bowles