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The Blessing of Not Seeing
by Karen Burkhart
It was April 27, 1977—forty-five years ago today—when my parents surrendered their lives to Christ in the family room of our Toronto-suburb home. My mom had begun watching an evangelistic crusade on TV called, “I Found It,” and had invited my dad to join her. Uninterested in that “Jesus-stuff," my dad went upstairs to take a bath. After an extended soak, expecting the program to be over, my dad made his way back to the family room—just in time to hear the tail end of Chuck Colson’s testimony and invitation to come to Jesus. Chuck said something to the effect of, “if you’re tired of your life, come to Christ and find rest,” and then he led a prayer to be reconciled to God through Christ. Right then and there, unbeknownst to each other, my parents closed their eyes and prayed. Later, as they were preparing for bed, they confessed to each other what they had done and spent the better part of the night talking about their newfound faith. They were never the same.
To this day, it’s still mind-boggling to me that in the time it took to have a bath, my dad went from being resistant to the Gospel to embracing it. Only the Holy Spirit could soften his heart to receive the Good News like that. Only the Holy Spirit could take two ordinary people who were dead in their sins and make them alive in Christ!
Even though it's been over 2,000 years since Jesus lived and walked on earth, He is still in the resurrection business! And not only is salvation still available to we who are on this side of the cross it also comes with a special blessing: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. ” It’s unclear to me what exactly the blessing is, but I think at a minimum the blessing is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Remember when Jesus’ disciples were pre-mourning his departure and He said, “it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you" (John 16:7)?
We need to take Jesus at His word and accept that this unseen power and presence in our lives is even better than being able to share a meal with Jesus face to face. Is it possible we’ve not properly understood the blessing of the Holy Spirit living on the inside?
May we awaken to the truth that we who believe yet have not seen are blessed by God.
Lord, I'm still amazed at the work of grace you've done in my life. When I consider who I was before I knew you and who I am today, I can only marvel at your faithfulness and power to transform lives. Sometimes I forget that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in me. Please awaken me to this reality so that I may live with unshakeable confidence and courage for your honor and glory. Amen.