The other night as I tucked my oldest son into bed, he asked me a very serious question. He is the type that is often silent, while inside his brain, the wheels are turning. So, when he wanted to ask me something, I knew he had been thinking about it long and hard.
He looked up at me with his big, green eyes after we had prayed together. He asked, “When you get to Heaven, will you send me a message and tell me that God is real?”
I was surprised when he asked me this, because I know he believes in God and he trusts in Jesus for his salvation. But the honesty behind the question is what struck me more than the sweet, little boy innocence. He was simply voicing the question we’ve all wondered at some point: is God real?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just receive a little text or tweet from God? I mean, who wouldn’t love an email or Snap from God?
Well, He has given us much more than that. The Bible is one, long, epic text written to us.
God is Near
God is closer to us than we are aware. Paul said, “Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being.’” (Acts 17:27b-28a, ESV).
God gives each human their existence, and He sustains all things. He is nearer than our next breath. I love to think about that. Breathing is something most of us don’t think about.
We keep breathing even when we’re asleep. God is that close to us. When we acknowledge His omnipresence and the fact that He is with us, we experience His closeness. “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18 ESV)
Faith not sight
We know in our hearts that God is near to us, but do we believe it in our minds? Do we comprehend that, yes, God is real, and yes, He is with me? This head-heart connection is what my son was struggling with that night. I answered his doubts with Scripture.
Remember doubting Thomas? He had heard that Jesus was resurrected, but he said he would not believe it until he saw Jesus and touched His wounds. When Jesus appeared to His disciples after He was resurrected, Thomas confessed his belief.
“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”” (John 20:29, NASB).
Thomas believed because he saw Jesus with his own eyes. But you and I, and our children, are in the second category. Jesus says we are blessed when we believe.
Jesus knew it would be hard for us to believe, but He is with us and He rewards our faith as we seek Him. He blesses us with many gifts and with the peace and presence of His Spirit. And we know that because of His Spirit, God will never leave us nor forsake us.
That night, I told my son that I believed he would know that God is real by the time I died and that the Lord would bolster his faith through his own “God experiences”, too.
Faith is like a muscle. When we believe during the tough times and when we can’t see, our faith is strengthened. And just as in exercise, the stretching and exhausting of our faith causes it to grow. Stronger faith really comes from exercising it.
Friend, are you doubting God’s nearness? Do you need to exercise your faith? Look to His word to understand more of who He is. Remember that your faith rests on a strong Savior, and He will strengthen you and reward your faith as you seek Him.
Kristen Johnson is a mother of three and “an accidental farmer’s wife.” She is a music lover, a foodie, and a naptime writer/blogger with a passion for encouraging mothers to live life abundantly, just as Jesus longs for them to do. In her past life (before children), she majored in English Education and spent three and a half years teaching teenagers Shakespeare and Fitzgerald. Now she flourishes leading her MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group, surrounded by women who seek to know more about the Lord and who need encouragement as a mom. Kristen lives in Litchfield, MN with her family. You can connect with her through her blog as well as on Instagram @kristenkjohnson and Facebook.