Faith the Final Frontier

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:19

WP knitting instructions

I learn best when I can watch someone or I can see an example. Following written instructions, like how to crochet or knit, or even utilize a new cooking technique, ties my brain in a knot.

Thomas is my kind of guy. Show me. I need to see this incredible thing, because it’s just too complicated for my mind to grasp. It does not make sense.

Thomas responded skeptically, but he’s not the first person in the Bible. Sarah laughed when she heard God’s plan. Zechariah wanted a few details when he knew he had to explain to Elizabeth what God was doing. Gideon questioned God’s strategy for his army several times…just to be sure.

I get it. The things God does and says are bigger than our minds. He owns this principle: my ways are not your ways (Isaiah 55:8).

So even though Thomas “doubted,” Jesus appears and allows him to touch his side and hands. Thomas wasn’t kicked out of the club because he was confused. That is good news!

WP but wait
But wait there’s more! Here’s the better news—news for you and me: blessed are those who have not seen (who don’t get your opportunity, Thomas), and yet believe.

That’s us. Looking into Thomas’ eyes, Jesus saw you and me. He knew how hard it was going to be to wrap our brains around resurrection. And he issued a “trust me” statement.

We have to take this one on faith…and if we will…we will be blessed.

PRAYER: Father, when you looked at Thomas kneeling there in reverence, believing because you revealed yourself to him…you saw me. And when you saw me, you knew it wasn’t going to be easy to believe. Thank you for extending your blessing to those of us who have not seen you in person, but who see you by faith. Please continue to show up when we have questions and reveal yourself. Open the eyes of our hearts to see you today, for you are our Lord and our God. Amen.

WP truly blessed

Pure In Heart

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)

WPblessed

So not only do we have to seek him with all our heart…but our heart must be pure.

Have noticed we spend a lot of time trying to distinguish between heart issues and mind matters? We verbalize the struggle by saying things like, “My heart’s telling me to do one thing and my head’s saying something completely different. It’s like we’re a raging battle field.

The crowd that originally received Jesus’ message wouldn’t have had as great a struggle. They understood the “heart” to be the central to who they were–it encompassed everything.

Fortunately, the purity Jesus speaks of is not one of complete perfection, but of focus. Soren Kerkegaard sums it up pretty well for me:

WPpuritywillonething

It is the heart, the person who has chosen to focus in, who will SEE God and as a result, they will be blessed.

And this “blessed,” this is more than happy. It’s not a reward. It’s about grace.

There is no other thing that will satisfy. I am willing to set everything else aside. I want God more than anything. And he honors that desire by revealing himself to me. To you. To us.

Yeah, I’d say that’s a blessing for sure.

PRAYER: God, I see a lot of things in my day. But I want to see you. Purify my heart. Help me to find that singleness of purpose, will, and life. I admit sometimes I seek the blessing without the focus. Forgive me and purify my motives as you purify my heart. Amen

Christmas Day

Did you get everything you wanted?

Earlier this week I mentioned “unprayed answers.” I was introduced to this concept by a dear man of God. It has stuck with me and become a integral component of my relationship with God.

When this concept was presented it was linked to “The Confederate Soldier’s Prayer.”

No matter what you received this year…or didn’t receive…my prayer is that you will find this prayer true for you.

A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER’S PRAYER
Author Unknown,
(Attributed to a battle weary C.S.A soldier near the end of the war)

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed.

(I didn’t change the original wording…but rest assured when I pray it, the last line reads much more personally: I am among all most richly blessed.)

And amen!

Thanksgiving Thanks

I’m full of thanks for family, food, and football. I’m thankful that my daughters and grandchildren will be in my home today. I’m thankful that I am married to a man who loves to cook and is really, really good at it. And it goes without saying how happy I am to enjoy football with my family.

I’m blessed. I know it and I’m thank-full.

%d bloggers like this: