How hard is it for you to believe in things you cannot see, control or understand?
I had one of my world-class adventure ideas this week that resulted in the worst night’s sleep ever. Why? Something I could not see, could not control and could not understand.
We went camping. In fact, I’m coming to you live from a beautiful camping spot right on the water on the island of Key Largo in the Florida Keys. Sounds magical, right? Well, I thought so too! We’ve been itching to use our truck-top camper, and there was finally a 2 night cancellation at campgrounds that are booked a year in advance, so I snagged it.
The setting is absolute perfection. A private tiki hut with picnic table on the dock, a full moon casting its reflection on the water, dinner cooked outside in a cast iron skillet. Sign me up for this every day for the rest of my life! How could such a paradise turn into an experience we can’t wait to drive away from?
One word: No-See-Ums
Here’s another word: Every-Freaking-Where
No-See-Ums. If you don’t know, then you just don’t know. But if you’ve ever had an encouter with No-See-Ums, then you know! You know that somehow a bug so tiny you can’t even see them has the undeniable ability to tear you up! Their bite is painful, and they are relentless in their pursuit. Unfortunately for us, our super cool, overlander style tent that sits on the very top of our truck cab, is not No-See-Ums proof. With bugs tinier than a speck of sand, they just fly through screens and have an all-night feast of you.
We slept exactly zero hours. Longest, most miserable night ever. We booked 2 nights, I can say with confidence we will be passing our heavenly spot on to the next traveler tonight.
I cannot see these bugs, but I 100% believe in them. Why? Because I’ve felt their effects. I’ve seen their impact. While I can’t see them, I see their work. Once you experience them, you will never question why someone is flinching, jerking, and swatting at thin air. It’s a No-See-Um.
God works in this way, doesn’t he? I mean in a less assaulting type manner, but in the unseen. You can’t see him. You can’t control him. You can’t understand him, but once you’ve had an encounter with God, you know he is real.
What work has God done in your life that makes you know without a doubt he is real? How do you know he is with you if you can’t see him? How have you seen his power manifest, without see the hand the power came from?
The disciples were traveling with Jesus, spending every moment of their days with him. They could see, him, but they didn’t fully understand who he was. Then, they have an encounter with the unseen.
Matthew 17: 1-9 “Jesus took Peter, James and John up a high mountain. He was transfigured – his face shone like the sun and his clothes became dazzling white. A bright cloud enveloped them and a voice said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him.”
The disciples fell to the ground, terrified. “Get up” said Jesus, “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up they saw no-one except Jesus.
Suddenly they saw what they had never seen before. They saw Jesus’ true identity and real power. It had always been there, they simply hadn’t seen it before. They saw where Jesus had come from and what he would return to. The light of heaven. Revelation 21:23 says “And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.”
The disciples were seeing Jesus’ face shinning bright like it does in Heaven. They had never seen that before. But this encounter for Peter, James and John would change the way they saw Jesus forever. They experienced his divine nature. They felt the power in his presence. And what they had never seen before, and would never see again, confirmed Jesus was exactly who he said he was.
Do you know Jesus is who he says he is in your life? Do you know he is your light which guides you? Do you know he is your vine which gives you strength and causes you to produce fruit in your life? Do you know he is your gate, the way from where you are to where you are going? Do you know he is your good Shepherd, the one who protects you and never leaves your side?
How do you know if you’ve never seen him? You know by his works in your life. You know by the personal experiences that cannot be explained in any other way.
Just like my encounter with No-See-Ums explains why some people swat at the unseen things in the air, and flinch in pain for seemingly unknown reasons … my encounter with Jesus explains why some people drop to their knees in prayer, or just can’t help but raise their hands in praise. They’ve encountering the unseen.
It’s real. It’s powerful. And when you know, you know.
Never question the power of that which you cannot see.
1 Peter 1:8 TPT “You love him passionately although you have not seen him, but through believing in him you are saturated with an ecstatic joy…”
All around you today is God’s power at work in your life. All around you are his provisions aligning for you. All around you are the details of his good plans for you unfolding in ways you cannot see and cannot even imagine. But it’s all there. It’s all happening. And if you allow that to get into your awareness, changing your perspective and attitude, you can be saturated with ecstatic joy because of it. Simply because you believe in that which you cannot see.
Not because you fully understand it. Not because you control it in any way. Not because you always get it right. Nope, none of that. Simply because you believe. Believing in a God you cannot see will strengthen you to do things you didn’t think you could do. It will enable you to walk in divine authority you could not anticipate.
Can you believe in the power of things you cannot see? Encounter a swarm of No-See-Ums in your tent for an entire night, you will undoubtedly believe. Encounter a God who holds your entire world in the palm of his hand and cares about every detail of your life, and you will undoubtedly believe.
Do I see him? No. Do I see his power at work all around me? ABSOLUTELY!
Last night in hour 5 of zero minutes of sleep, fighting swarms of bugs I could not see, I questioned why would God create No-See-Ums. And he told me, “my sweet child, so you could begin to understand the power of that which you cannot see. My existence and my impact in the details of your life may be in the unseen, but they are real!