Our family recently embarked upon a summer road trip to visit college campuses in preparation for my daughter applying this fall. As we all shared in the collective excitement, it was a completely novel experience for me. Growing up in Hawaii, I attended a college in Southern California, but never had the opportunity to visit before my first day on the campus. During orientation week, I asked a fellow classmate where the nearest restroom was located.
“Mason Hall, you can’t miss it.”
“Where is Mason Hall?”
“You know, the registration office, where we started the campus tours.”
I was confused. “What campus tours?”
My new classmate looked at me with incredulity. “You’ve never visited?”
“No.” I sheepishly answered.
“How did you know you wanted to come here?”
“Uhhh…just reading stuff about it, hearing about it from others who attended the school.”
“Wow! Guess you had a lot of faith that you were making the right decision!”
My daughter and her peers can readily avail of today’s opportunities to tour prospective college campuses. Decades earlier, before the internet, all I could rely upon were recommendations from high school college counselors and friends of my father’s, familiar with the school. It was a different era and high school students from Hawaii rarely if ever traveled to the mainland United States to visit prospective college campuses. If it had not been for one of my father’s patients, whom he greatly respected, giving an enthusiastic endorsement of the college, I may never have attended my college. Her experiences resonated with my father and myself and I was unafraid to commit, even though I had never visited the campus.
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
John 20:24-25 (ESV)
Centuries earlier, Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus was confronted with the decision to place his trust in the resurrection. In spite of the collective testimonies of the other disciples, Thomas refused to believe that His Master was alive unless he saw the risen Christ. Eight days later, his request was dramatically answered.
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:27-29 (ESV)
Like my decision to attend a college that I never visited, we sometimes need to make decisions based upon the testimonies of others. When my spiritual journey began, God sent many dear brothers in Jesus Christ to help me understand who He is. Their testimonies and witness led me to make the most important decision of my life, to follow Jesus Christ.
For all who confess and repent of their sins and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, God gives the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. He is the assurance we need to commit and believe in Him. I have never seen Jesus Christ, but I know I will be sublimely happy when I am someday in Heaven in His presence. As Jesus told Thomas, God blesses all those who have never seen Him but have believed.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.