Seeing When You're Blind
Finding Faith When You Don't Believe
Lord, that I may see.
There comes a time in every person's life when he or she realizes that they don't "have it all together." Many people blot out this uncomfortable realization by more of what they've always been doing--partying, working, watching TV, playing video games, or eating. Others figure the path they were on isn't leading where they thought, so they try a new path. They go on a diet, they switch careers, they get an upgraded computer, they dye their hair, they see a psychiatrist. The trouble is that, after trying the new path, they realize that they still "don't have it all together." So they try something else.
No one will ever "have it all together" unless God comes first in
the "all together." He's the One Who has it all and in Him everything makes perfect sense, not because it makes sense from a human point of view because often it makes no sense at all, humanly speaking. But in God all things make perfect sense because HE has it all together and we trust that HE knows what HE's doing even if HE keeps US in the dark.All this is great and wonderful if you believe in God, but what if you don't? How can you trust in something you don't believe exists? How can you trust something you don't even know?
You can't, of course. No one expects you to.
So what do you do?
How do you have faith when you don't have any?
Some folks will have read this far just out of curiosity. Others will be reading along to refute everything written here. But you may be of a different leaning. You might be reading this because you really WISH you had faith in a God you could trust, but you just don't know how to have it when you don't have it. The other folks can keep on reading if they like, and I hope they do like, but this article is for you, the seeker.
Two thousand years ago, a much misunderstood Jewish rabbi said, "Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened." He gave you the answer to your "how do I get faith when I don't get it" question.
Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened.
Ask for faith. Say to the God you don't believe in, "I don't believe in You. But I want to believe if You really do exist. If You really do exist, make Yourself known to me. Otherwise I will continue to go about telling others that You are nothing but a bunch of hooey."
Seek the faith. Pick up a Bible and start reading it. Don't be afraid to do this. Lots of folks who don't believe tell you they aren't interested in the Bible, but, many times, they are afraid of it. They are afraid that what they read might influence them. No pirate ever found buried treasure by going along and hoping he'd stumble over a chest of doubloons. He got maps, he sailed ships, he trudged sandy shores, and he dug pits to find the buried treasure. Lots of times the pirates were disappointed. The maps were spurious. There was no treasure. But sometimes there was. You won't know if the Bible is a spurious map or not if you don't read it. Knock at the door of a monastery or convent or parish rectory. Say you want to talk to someone about the faith. Or about the Bible and what you are reading in it.
You want to see if this stuff is real. Maybe you are afraid to really knock at a real door. But you are here on the internet. You can knock at our door. Send us an email. We'll open it for you and invite you to dialog with us. We're not going to shut the door in your face, and we're not able to abduct you and brain wash you over the internet. I mean, really, now. So knock. Or find some other sound Catholic web site and "knock" there. But knock someplace!
That same Jewish rabbi did some very remarkable things. He healed the blind, among many miracles. One blind man was crying out along the road, over and over. People tried to shut him up. The Jewish rabbi heard him and asked what he wanted. 'Lord, that I may see," he said. You see, he was blind. But he believed that Jesus, that misunderstood Jewish rabbi, could heal him. And you know what? He was right. Jesus healed his blindness. The man who was blind had probably become blind through some illness. That's why he wanted to see so badly. We know he must have seen at one time because Jesus healed him by degrees. First he saw folks walking but they looked "like trees," he said. He wouldn't know what trees looked like if he hadn't once seen trees. When people looked like trees, he knew he was not seeing clearly. So Jesus touched his eyes again and then he could see people who looked like people.
If you had faith once but lost it, you are like this blind man. Maybe your faith wasn't all that strong to begin with. That's why it weakened and died. You are blind now, unable to see God anywhere. But God can heal you by degrees. Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened.
There was another man, who used to beg because he was born blind. Jesus healed him, too. Folks were amazed. Maybe a prophet could heal someone who had become blind because of illness, but no prophet had ever healed a man who had been born blind. You are like the man born blind if you never had faith. Maybe your parents were atheists or agnostics or maybe they were just indifferent. You grew up never hearing the word God or thinking much about any Higher Being. Now you're older and you're wondering. Can God grant you spiritual sight? Of course He can if He's God. God can do everything, if He exists. Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened.
So how long do you ask and seek and knock? Jesus told another parable about a woman who kept going to an unjust judge, demanding justice. You might call her a real pain in the behind. Every time this judge turned around, it seemed, there was this woman, demanding that he do right. Finally he got sick and tired of it and gave in to her. Jesus makes the point. "If an unjust judge will give a woman what is her due because she nags him day and night, how much more will God Who is good and just answer the prayers of those who persist in them?"
You have to persist if you want to find out if God really exists. One little half hearted question isn't going to generally bring a big answer. Blindness isn't generally cured in a flash. If you really want to know if God exists, you'll keep pounding at that imaginary door of that imaginary God to see if anything real is there. Give this God, if He does exist, a chance to know that you are sincere. Pester Him. What have you got to lose but a little bit of time? You don't have to tell your unbelieving friends that you are trying to find a nonexistent God. They don't have to know. But you do it, for yourself.
Do you really want to know if God exists? Really?
Ask. Seek. Knock.
You have nothing to lose but your unbelief. Write to us if you wish and we will be happy to pray with and for you as you seek the Lord.
May God Who really does exist bless you!
Madeline Pecora Nugent