Seeing is believing. Or so it seems.
Elijah loved to fish. He always caught more fish than any of our family. It was almost as though he had some superpower vision that allowed him to see beneath the water’s surface. And any of us who have ever fished know that fishing is the art of catching the unseen. We have to guess where the fish might be located; we have to guess what kind of bait might be most interesting. We have to keep looking for places in the water where we imagine that the fish are just ready and waiting for our fishing line.
Of course, there is always a surge of excitement when a fish takes our bait. We have a sudden confirmation that something unseen was actually under the water after all. Until we bring the fish close, we don’t really know what kind of fish we caught or how big it is. For that matter, we don’t even know for sure if it’s actually a fish. I’ve hauled in many weeds that seemed like big fish as I was bringing in the watery vegetables.
And most of us probably have a story about the big one that got away. One day I was cleaning a large string of fish that we had caught. Elijah never wanted to stop fishing, so he was bringing me fish almost as fast as I could clean them. But I laughed when he came running, excitedly telling me that he had just caught the biggest fish ever. When I asked to see it, he told me it got away. As I laughed, he said, “Dad, you gotta believe me! It was bigger than any fish you ever caught.”
All of us have said, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But I wonder how many of us ever say, “I’ll see it when I believe it.”
Elijah had a knack for seeing what was unseen. So none of us are surprised that one of his favorite scripture verses was from 2 Corinthians 4:18. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” He sent that verse in one of his last text messages to his oldest sister, Tina. In the text message, he felt that people were not taking God seriously enough because they were focused on the things that can only be seen.
Elijah knew that our lives would be transformed when we finally learned to focus on the things that are unseen. Those are the things that are eternal. And now he is seeing them for himself, firsthand. I’m certain that he is one of the most excited people in heaven!
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