The other night, as I was tucking my oldest son into bed, he asked me a very serious question. He is the type that is often silent but inside his brain, the wheels are turning. So when he wanted to ask me something, I knew he had been thinking about it long and hard.
He asked, "When you get to Heaven, will you send me a message and tell me that God is real?"
I was surprised when he asked me this, because I know he believes in God and has Jesus in his heart. But the honesty behind the question is what struck me more than the sweet, little boy innocence. He was simply voicing the question we all have either asked or thought at some point in our lives: is God real?
Wouldn't it be nice if we could just receive a little text or tweet from God? Well, He did better than that. Think of the Bible as one, large, epic text.
The fact is that God is closer to us than we are usually aware. In Acts 17, Paul explains that "He is not far from any one of us. For in Him we live and move and exist" (verses 27b-28a).
God gives each human their existence, and He sustains all things. He is nearer than our next breath. I love to think about that. Breathing is something most of us don't really think about. We even keep breathing when we're asleep. God is that close to us. And when we acknowledge His omnipresence, we experience His closeness. "Come close to God, and God will come close to you" (James 4:8).
So we know in our hearts that God is near to us, but do we believe it in our minds? Do we comprehend that, yes, God is real, and yes, He is with me? This head-heart connection is what my son was struggling with that night. I answered his doubts the best I could, with scripture.
Remember doubting Thomas? He had heard that Jesus was resurrected, but he said he would not believe it until he saw Jesus and touched His wounds. When Jesus appeared to His disciples after He was resurrected, Thomas confessed his belief. But Jesus had an excellent response.
"You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me."
Thomas believed because he saw Jesus with his own eyes. But you and I, and our children, are in the second category. And Jesus says we are blessed when we believe. Jesus knew it would be hard for us to believe, but He rewards our faith. He blesses us with many gifts and with the peace and presence of His Spirit.
Stronger faith comes from using it. When we believe in the tough times, our faith is strengthened. I told my son that night that he would know for sure, by the time I died, that God was real. I told him he would have his own "God experiences" to bolster his strength.
Faith is like muscle. If you want it to grow, you need to exercise it. And like exercise, good results, like blessings, will follow. You may not even need to break a sweat.
Hi, I'm Kristen! Just a girl who loves all things Jesus, family, music and food!
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