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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Believe It or Not?

Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe. ~ Thomas, John 20:25

Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe. ~ Jesus, John 20:29

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. ~ Hebrews 11:1

"I'll believe it when I see it."

The absurdity of this statement really hit home early this morning.  You see, I've been hoping to see the current alignment of 5 planets in the early morning sky.  Unfortunately I'm learning that here in "sunny" Florida this time of year early mornings have a tendency to be cloudy or foggy, evolving into clearer skies later in the day.  This was the case again today.

As I gazed into a cloudy horizon I couldn't see the planets but I knew they were there and believed they were aligned just as scientists and friends who have see them say so.  I couldn't see the alignment but I believed it was there.  If I saw it, belief would have become null because then I would have known it.

I wonder how much of of our understanding of beliefs (whatever those may be) is distorted because what we really want is verifiable knowledge?   Then, if we don't have proof we don't believe it.  This is belief leading to knowledge, and this kind of belief could be just another word for hope.

I could also say, "I know the planets are there and aligned," but only through the stories or testimony of others whom I trust.  This kind of knowing is what I think of as "faith."  Faith is knowing something is true (but not necessarily factual), even when you don't have verifiable proof, because you trust your source of information.   Faith is belief that grows from trust.

Without going too far down this rabbit hole, because it only leads us to absurd questions about the sound of trees falling in the woods and God creating rocks too big for God to move, for me it all comes down to belief becoming faith built on trust. This leads me to the question: Could "trust" be just another world for love.

Faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. ~ Paul, 1 Corinthians 13:13

By the way, even though I didn't get to see the planet alignment, I did see this (clouds are good for something - believe it!):


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