Believe . . . In Me!
My husband and I received our first (and only) BELIEVE plaque years ago as a Christmas present. Not only was it beautifully crafted and unique, it was a gift from our unsaved friends. Could this mean . . .? Could it be that they too had come to the faith? We were delighted over the prospect.
But before we could connect with them, the word started cropping up everywhere. Anything Christmassy, and there it was. I couldn’t help but notice it on plaques, gift bags, banners, ornaments, pillows, jammies, hats, socks, shirts, even doggie sweaters. People were going bonkers over it.
While Josh Groban’s silver-toned voice inspired us to, “give your dreams the wings to fly . . . If you just believe” (The Polar Express 2004), I was asking myself, “Believe? Believe in what?” Perhaps the heart behind placing the word BELIEVE on everything was unadulterated at its inception. But all by itself, it looked so vague, so susceptible to whims of the imagination. Others must’ve thought the same. So, advertising kicked it up a notch and filled in the blanks for us. Believe in Santa. Believe in The Magic of Christmas . . . in Yourself . . . in the Miracle . . . in Wine. And believe it or not, in Big Foot. Decades ago, we met an electrician who chose “Electro Man” as his higher power because he believed in the power of electricity. It didn't seem to matter anymore what people believed in. Just believe.
The darkness of this age had already intruded upon symbols like the cross and the rainbow, thus making their sacred message to the world garbled. Now, darkness was stealing our word believe? Whatever happened to Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved . . . (Acts 16:31)?
Well, I was having no part of it and decided to make something good out of it. So, I became more purposeful in my pursuit of Christ. Whenever I’m feeling out of sorts about something—a trial, a hurt, a disappointment—I ask myself, “What is it I’m believing?”. The answer that surfaces starts a conversation with the Lord. Which then gets me back on course and deepens my faith. Thomas’s question in John chapter 14 becomes our present-day question as we struggle to find our way around the worldly debris blocking our path. Lord, we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way (vs.5)? And His answer is always the same. I am the way, and the truth, and the life . . . (vs.6). MacLaren’s Expositions says it so well: “The Christ who is absent is present as the path to Himself . . . Thomas and all his fellows knew, after a fashion, but they did not know that they knew.” Believe in Me. That’s what the Lord is after.
“But Lord, how do I navigate through all these trials?” — I Am the Way.
“How can I discern what is true when lies are so prevalent?” — I Am the Truth.
“How will I survive life’s hurts, disappointments, and setbacks?” — I Am the Life.
Seeing all those BELIEVE’s dotting the Christmas aisles has also fueled my prayers for those who don’t yet know the Lord. If I noticed all of them, surely others can notice them as well—especially when I’m asking Him to capture their attention. Perhaps, with His help, they too will take it a step further and ask themselves, “Believe in what?”. Since the heavens declare the glory of God—and—his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:20)—why couldn’t God use a carved, etched, printed, stenciled, clipart(ed), and glittered word like BELIEVE to woo people to Himself?
Talk about an invitation to believe! It’s pure genius!