The scene is indelibly etched in my mind, has been for years. Not the colorized version, not the remake either; the original Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie Wood and Maureen O’Hara. The end of the movie finds the little girl still struggling to believe in Santa Claus even though everyone around her has become convinced.
Riding in the backseat of the car, Susan is mumbling, trying to convince herself, “I believe, I believe, I believe…” over and over again. It is the most pitiful of “I believe’s” anywhere. All of a sudden she blurts out for them to stop the car. She has always had a wish, to live in the country in a real home and had a particular one in mind. When she sees it, she runs all through the house shouting, “I believe, I believe!” Only this time, her words, the same words, are different, she sees the object of which she has hoped for, standing right in the middle of the dream and now she believes!
Maybe you are like Susan, or even the one we call Doubting Thomas? What if you don’t believe right away? You want to believe, you need to believe but God’s promises seem so far away or unattainable?
Gideon struggled with that. God wanted to use him to deliver Israel from the oppressive Midianites.
When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” Judge 6:12-14 NIV
Can you imagine talking to an angel of the Lord that way? I am sure his tone was not sarcastic, but I can’t help but hear it that way just a wee bit. Regardless, Gideon is struggling to believe that he can handle this assignment. (You can read the rest of the story here how Gideon puts out fleece after fleece before God.)
And you know what? Gideon cannot handle it on his own. He would fail for sure had the Lord not been with him! But God told him He was sending him, He was in charge and would not abandon him. Gideon didn’t believe it the first time he was told but he tried again, and again, until he finally stepped out in faith and trusted that God would go with him.
The Bible tells us to “…build up your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.” Sometimes we don’t even know how to pray, or what to pray for, but when we go to prayer, when we try, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with “groanings that cannot be uttered”. That is called intercession and it is a powerful thing. The Holy Spirit will increase our faith and we can then turn it over to God to answer according to His will.
A while back I was at an adorable Bed and Breakfast in Amish country, northern Indiana. There was no internet but I did have a hotspot with me so I plugged it in and got nothing. I kept trying all morning long to get a connection but to no avail. Even the hotspot didn’t recognize where we were!
That connection to our Jesus is so important that we must plug in no matter where we are in life. And when we do, we won’t get Connection Not Available. He WILL be there! The more time you spend connected to Him, the more your faith will increase and doubt will have to leave.
Even if you can’t see the miracle, maybe you can’t imagine the answer, God is working on your behalf. It may not come as the answer you were seeking but it will be the best answer for you, for your situation. God doesn’t make mistakes and because He can see down the road, He always knows what is best and we pray for HIS WILL to be done.
So if at first you don’t believe? Get in His presence and ask Him to help your unbelief. Try, try again!