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The Miracle of Belief

With Resurection Sunday comes a crescendo of voices proclaiming what many of us may know as the Easter Story. What slippery language to associate this event with: story. So many voices, so many opinions, so many thoughts, so many stories are out there to tell, that upon hearing the Good News we see it as impersonal as the disembodied voices delivering the news to us. Jesus loves you, now change your life!

The fact of the matter is, we can go through the motions of celebrating the Resurection of Jesus Christ and never actually stop to believe if it is true. It is actually incredibly simple to believe a story of our own- that Jesus is lived and died and rose, yes, but now life goes on. We invent a Gospel of a distant God.

Thus, the Gospel becomes a disembodied, impersonal children's tale that serves to bring an ounce of comfort in the hard, painful times of suffering- when we need it. But as for the normal, everyday monotony, that God doesn't touch. Surely He is too big to fit into the restricting clock I live under, with its short moments and long, tedious days. Because the thing about stories, is there is always places they can't reach.

But Jesus is not just a story- He is a Person. A personal God who does not speak to us as the chorus of voices do, but instead, whispers. Because the Truth is not defensive, doesn't have to raise its voice to prove anything, truth is truth. Lies need a carefully crafted argument, and sometimes Truth doesn't need to say a word.

However, when Jesus began His ministry, He did in fact speak, encapsulating His entire mission in a singular phrase:

"Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.'" - Mark 1:14–15

Repent preceeds believe because to believe in anything is to acknowledge its worth. We must find something worth believing in. Believing requires humility because it is a relinquishment of control- it is to jump into the abyss, and realize that somewhere along the way you began to not just believe, but trust. And we know that humility is a submission before authority. So, in our case, to humble ourselves enough to repent leads to belief, following Jesus' logic here. Why? Because God is drawn to the repentant heart. It makes us smaller so He may increase. And His presence is the beginning of belief. To believe is our reaction to experiencing Him.

I can only speak very personally here. But one of the most miraculous things I've ever expereinced in my entire life is that I believe. I don't believe in a story I am told to believe in, I don't lean into and trust in my own opinions to hold me up. Instead, somehow, someway, Jesus has stepped into my naturally cynical, logistical, doubt-filled brain, and recounciled my perceptions of reality to the Truth. In A Wrinkle in Time, Mrs. Murry describes belief as "the willing suspension of disbelief". And suddenly I don't need to have all the answers. I don't need to fully "get it" for it to be true. There are limitations to my mind, there are things my eyes cannot see, sounds I cannot hear. And I must accept that. But the God I believe in- He is boundless. And so I lean into that space between where my understanding stops and where God is.

I believe.

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God." - Colossians 3:1-3

Notice how personal the language is here. More than a story, Paul here is saying that this is your reality. Because when a story becomes your story, it becomes memory, it becomes your life.

So take a moment and a breath, because Resurrection Sunday has us all submerged in a sea of ideas and stories and opinions on how you should live. There's a lot of voices. But have you heard the Voice? There's a lot of words. But have you heard the Word?

Believing isn't the absence of all doubt, it is to belief in something bigger than our doubt, enough to where our opinion is all but irrelevant. The market for opinions is suffering mass inflation, and they come cheap these days. But the Truth is costly, priceless.

Imagine if we really lived every single day believing that Jesus actually did live, walked the earth and healed and loved and flipped tables and cried and laughed and suffered and worked and rested. Believing that He bled and died, our sacrifice so that we could live unbound in the boundless presence of God, our Father. And believing that in the tomb, the Father once again breathed life into His Son just as He had with Adam. And Jesus' heart began to beat again, His chest began to rise and fall. And believing that because He lives, I live too.

In desperation a man once cried out to Jesus for his son to be healed, saying,"I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24). I am inclined to think that where the presence of God increases in our life, so will our belief, bowing down to agree with that presence. Believing is the bowing of our fallen hearts, perceiving that Truth just walked in the door.

All throughout the Gospels we are shown that Jesus is very fond of making believers out of people He met with. People that were complicated, messy, unclean, broken. Real people, finding themselves in a room with God clothed in flesh, the embodiment of every Word the Maker of Heaven and Earth ever spoke, and leaving forever changed.

Leaving with belief in their hearts, slightly baffled, slightly in awe, as to how it got there.

Never let go of that sense of wonder that comes from witnessing a miracle, because a miracle of the mind is a miracle nonetheless. The day by day proccess of believing more and more the incredible Truth that is Jesus- the Healer of my doubts.

We actually believe that a Man who lived and walked this earth 2,000 years ago, Jesus of Nazareth, is God. That the One I read about in history textbooks and in the pages of Scripture, I know Him. I talk to Him, and He hears me. And I know that He loved to love people, and that injustice made Him angry and that He absolutely longed to heal every one He met. That His death was actually the Death of deaths, it was my death. And that His Spirit dwells within me just as much as His presence filled Solomon's temple all those years ago, like a thick cloud of the pure presence of a holy God. And that this Man is coming back. More than a story, He is my reality, my purpose for living because He is the Giver of my life.

How baffling- because as wild as it sounds, I really do believe.


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