I woke up this morning with a grateful heart. Grateful that I know the true reason for Christmas. Grateful that I know the God who came down from heaven to dwell among men. Grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Why all this gratitude?
Yesterday while I was reading news clips on CNN's website, I came across an article entitled Seeking the Truth About Jesus. Always curious what "the world" has to say about my Savior, I clicked on it. The article itself was okay. I disagreed with the author on some major points, but what struck me more were the comments that followed. So many were negative. Some were downright rude and ugly. The majority of posters, it seemed, had no belief in Jesus Christ or the Christmas story at all.
But one comment in particular grabbed my attention.
It was written by a man named Ed. Ed's very lengthy post declared that God does not exist and that he can prove it. Reading on, I found that Ed had no such proof to backup his claim. What he did have, however, broke my heart. Ed said he had searched for God, begging God to reveal himself to Ed, for ten years. At the end of those ten years, God still had not revealed himself to Ed. Therefore, Ed's conclusion is that God must not exist.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Ed, like many, many others out there, wanted solid, tangible proof that God exists. What exactly he wanted, I don't know. Did he expect God to appear right before his eyes? Did he think heaven should open up so he could see the throne with God seated on it? Sure, those very things happened to different people in the Bible, but very few people out of all the people that have ever walked this earth have had encounters with God like those.
So, if God doesn't reveal himself to us in order for us to believe in him, why do so many people believe anyway, myself included?
One simple word answers that question: Faith.
The disciple named Thomas didn't have enough faith to believe that Jesus had been raised from the dead. He wanted proof, much like Ed. Only after he touched Jesus' hands and feet did he declare, "My Lord and my God." (John 20:28) But it's Jesus' words that are very telling, and very hopeful to me. They are words I wish people like Ed would take to heart: "Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
The apostle Paul wrote that, "We live by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7)
The author of Hebrews wrote, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1)
I wish I could talk to Ed and share with him my "proof" that God does exist. I'd take him to a mirror and let him behold the wonder of the human body. I'd show him pictures of the two amazing creatures that grew inside my womb and who are now these incredible young men. I'd drive him to a mountaintop or to the beach and let him "see" God in the wondrous beauty. Id' take him to a zoo to see the vast number of different creatures, and then I'd buy him lunch at the supermarket where an abundance of vegetables, fruits, nuts and meats give evidence of a Creator who put thought into each item.
Paul wrote it plain and simply in Romans 1:20: "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."
The pure and simple truth is, I believe in God. Not because I have seen Him, but because I see EVIDENCE of Him all around me! I don't need to be convinced of his existence. The proof is everywhere I look! I believe He came to earth in the form of a baby, born to a virgin. I believe he lived and died and lives again.
My heart is full this morning. Of truth. Of gratitude. Of peace and joy.
Merry Christmas, One and All!