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.” John 20:25 NLT
Some things we’re challenged to believe even when they fail every apparent test.
I have certain tests I use to determine validity. Quite naturally, they involve my senses. How do I know my wife is real? This may seem like an absurd question, but the tests I employ to test her reality are the same ones I use for more complicated issues. I see a body lying beside mine every morning, and I know I’ve seen this person before. I smell her odors…but in a pleasant way. With my ears, I hear her speak to me and others, and I recognize the voice. I can touch her. She feels like the same person I’ve touched for the last fourteen years. Touch lets me know she’s not an apparition. And if I’m really bold, I can nibble on her neck. When I’ve employed all these tests, I conclude, “She is real.”
Doubting Thomas—as he is unfortunately known—had trouble conceiving Jesus was the Messiah..much less that he had risen from the grave. The reports troubled him.
When determining God’s reality, I can’t employ the standard tests I use with everything else. I can’t see, touch, hear, smell, or taste him. But other tests are available. I can glare at circumstances over the course of my lifetime. Circumstances that couldn’t have materialized the way they did without intervention from a higher power. I can hear someone speaking to my inner spirit even though I never hear an audible voice. I can observe changes in people—changes that can’t be explained by a simple decision to turn over a new leaf.
Yet, in the end, the only way we can convince ourselves God is real is by a leap of faith. No concrete proof exists—only overwhelming evidence. And everyone must decide whether that evidence is sufficient for them. Is it for you?