Not Seeing, We Believe

Monday, April 18, 2022
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Listen while you read: "Christ The Lord Is Risen Today"1 (Lyrics)

John 20:29 – Then Jesus told [Thomas], "You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me." (NLT)


"Terry! Wake up! I hear the owl!"

I had been hearing this sound every night from inside our cabin at Camp Loma de Vida, in south Texas, USA, during the winter months this year. We had never actually pin-pointed its source. Terry reluctantly pulled on his clothes, and we quietly opened the door. Of course, by the time we ventured outside, we didn't hear a thing.

As birders, Terry and I keep an informal record of the birds that we see, starting afresh every January. There's the list for the year, and also a Life List, for birds that we see for the very first time. We don't keep lists for any particular organization, just as a hobby. There was a time, nearly fifty years ago, when Terry would help a friend take part in special breeding bird surveys every June. They would list the names of the birds both seen and heard for three minutes, as they stopped every half mile along a twenty-five mile stretch of the highway. Both Terry and his friend had good hearing then, and our friend recognized many birds merely by their sound. These were counted along with the ones seen. The sound of the bird was just as valid as seeing it.

After trying to see "our" owl for about a week, my husband finally declared, "I think we'll add him to the list. I'm pretty sure it's a Great Horned Owl." He played me its call on the bird app on his phone. "It's the only owl it could be in this area."

"But I want to see it!" I replied. I wanted visible proof that it really was a Great Horned Owl.

After the resurrection, one of Jesus' disciples had much the same reaction.

John 20:24-28 – One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he replied, "I won't believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side." Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. "Peace be with you," he said. Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don't be faithless any longer. Believe!" "My Lord and my God!" Thomas exclaimed. (NLT)

Thomas believed when he saw Him, but we have not seen Him.

1 Peter 1:8 – You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. (NLT)

We trusted in the evidence that, indeed, the owl was present in the trees around us. We have never seen Jesus physically, but because of the resurrection, we "see" Him with our spiritual eyes, and believe. As we celebrate in this Easter season, may we rejoice that we can believe, even though we have not seen Him with our natural eyes.

Prayer: Lord, thank You that because of the resurrection of Jesus so many years ago, we are blessed to believe. Help us to overcome our unbelief and to trust You in all situations. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Alice Burnett <>
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    May it be so, Alice. Have a great week.

    HI Alice,
    You have written a very effective devotional today. Thank you.

    I appreciated your comparison of Thomas to the owl to reinforce my belief in the story of Jesus at this Easter season.

    Thank you for your lesson of sharing in relation to our believing – how we are blessed in believing and knowing in our heart that Jesus is alive.

    Thanks, Alice. We trust in so many things we can’t see the source of, like how an airplane stays up in the air. I’m glad I am able to trust in Christ, even though I can’t see Him.

    Good morning, Alice and many thanks for your devotional today. Yes, we are truly blessed knowing the Lord is ever present in our lives even when we have not seen Him in person. Your writing was very interesting and at the same time expressed very well the reassurance, that although we don’t visibly see something it can exist . Blessings as you continue to do these writings.

    Thank you for today’s devotional. Whenever I see mention of Owls, my ears open wide, and sometimes too my eyes.
    A few years back I experienced a powerful message from God with the help of a Snowy Owl, I have always loved God since my very early Sunday School Days. However since the happening with the Snowy Owl, I have learned to love the Owls. Never realized how very many different ones there were, but my favourite is the Snowy Owl.
    Also I have been blessed by seeing God’s face and hearing his voice.
    God has been with me throughout many trials.
    Happy Easter.

    Good morning, Alice,
    I picture birds as so happy. Hearing them sing their songs high up in the trees makes me happy. I love spring when the world wakes up and the birds wake me up also.
    Great analogy of seeing and believing. I have always wondered if I was in Thomas’ situation, would I have believed. When something is so different from anything you have experienced it is more complicated.
    I can feel Jesus in my life and so I can believe. I have the support of others who believe and so I can believe. I have something that has been around for thousands of years and so I can believe.
    Happy Easter and thank you. Blessings.

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