Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
2009 was a year filled with illnesses of various kinds. Not only was Scott diagnosed with, treated for and healed from prostate cancer but both Hannah (14) and Hayleigh (11) had health scares as well. During her routine spring physical for participation in school athletics, the doctor diagnosed Hannah with scoliosis. A quick trip our pediatrician confirmed this diagnosis and we were off to a pediatric orthopaedic for final confirmation. Hannah had no idea what the future held in store but she knew with certainty the power of God to heal His people and cried out to Him to heal her body. During a regular dental check-up, the dentist inquired with Hayleigh about an unusual spot on her tongue. This irregularly shaped spot seemed like it might be a benign condition but lacking one hundred percent certainty, he referred her to an oral surgeon. The oral surgeon was also inconclusive in his diagnosis so he took detailed photographs of this part of her tongue and sent them off to Baylor Dentistry for a diagnosis. Even Baylor was not able to specifically diagnose so the next step would be a biopsy to eliminate cancer and other sinister conditions. Hayleigh had no interest in someone cutting on her tongue, so the morning of her scheduled biopsy, she too began to fervently pray that God would miraculously intervene in her life. God heard the cries of their sweet hearts and when Hannah saw the orthopaedic, he found absolutely no trace of what the other doctors had seen. When Hayleigh saw the oral surgeon again, the spot on her tongue had diminished over just a few hours to be practically unnoticeable. A skeptic may discredit these accounts but I know this was God's way of building their faith from their tender young ages so they will believe and not doubt.
Today I am reading John, Chapter 20 in which John records several interactions Jesus had with people after His resurrection. Verses 19-20 tell that Jesus appeared to the disciples who were overjoyed to see Jesus. The apostle, Thomas, however was not with them (Verse 24). Thomas did not believe their account of having seen Jesus alive and needed the proof of seeing Jesus' nail-scarred hands and wounded side as conclusive evidence that Jesus was indeed living (Verse 25). Many people have given Thomas a hard time about his lack of faith. Still today someone is called a "Doubting Thomas" when they are struggling with skepticism. Some might even count him as a "lesser" disciple because of his unbelief.
Personally, I don't think Thomas is such a bad guy and I'll bet Jesus, full of mercy and grace, agrees. When Jesus had appeared to the disciples in Thomas absence, He had showed them His scars (Verse 20). I think Thomas just wanted to experience what his friends had - irrefutable evidence that Jesus was alive. A week later when Jesus appeared to the disciples again and this time Thomas was with them, Jesus approached Thomas immediately and showed him His wounds (Verses 26-28). Thomas was filled to overflowing with faith upon seeing the Lord.
Following Thomas' profession of faith Jesus, Jesus says something that I had misunderstood in the past before I really began reading and studying the Bible for myself. "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. (Verse 29)" Satan sold me the lie that I was a "lesser" Christian because I desired convincing proof that Jesus was who He said He was. I thought that if I "really" had faith, I wouldn't need proof. I struggled wondering if I was even saved and what would happen to me if I died suddenly.
Through the conclusion to this passage, Jesus is whispering in my heart to believe His truth, not Satan's lies. This chapter closes with John stating the "these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (Verse 31)." Jesus is not playing an elaborate game of hide and seek or cat and mouse with me. He wants to be found by me and every person and for us to believe based on the real evidence of His resurrection.
Jesus, thank you for working in my life and the lives of my children in a way that we know You are exactly who You claimed to be. Thank you that our belief does not have to be blind, that You long to be found by Your people and that You reveal Yourself freely when we seek Your face. Today I will remember that my faith is based on real evidence that You freely gave so that all who came after Your chosen disciples would believe and have life in Your name.