"So he, trembling and astonished, . . ." Acts 9:6
A single moment of clarity can reframe everything. Salvation is a shift in perspective. It's the difference between being at the bottom of a canyon seeing only the fault lines and fractures, and standing at the top of a mountain and taking in the splendor and majesty of the landscape with all your senses.
Watching Saul be transformed to Paul shows us the distinction between seeing and believing. To see a thing, one needs only to stand still and look. To believe, one must surrender themselves to it, welcome it, feel it, and commit to it. Saul had always been a religious person, he had seen it, understood it. But not until he saw God in Christ did he feel it all through him, that he knew it for himself.
There are people in churches who see, but do not believe. They've been brought up in the church; they've heard the scriptures taught, listened to the prayers of others, they've seen the bread broken. But, they've never known the sweet communion of their own soul touching God. They remain strangers to the breath of the word of God. To be in the secret place of God, supported by the never-changing strength of God’s arms supporting them, is a strange and unfamiliar experience.
Jesus affirmed those who do not see, yet believe. He made allowances for doubting Thomas, who once he saw, believed. What about the many who saw Jesus do miracles, ate the bread He multiplied with His own hands, and still did not believe? Those who never trembled at His wonder or were astonished by His Presence?
Seeing is not always believing – there is a difference between them, as there is between night and day, between summer and winter. And sometimes we have to be shown it over and over again before it finally dawns on us, before we feel it with our whole being. Believing means finally seeing the source of our freedom, hope, and love.
Are you seeing or believing Jesus?