“Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”?'” (John 14:8-9)
I can relate to Philip in this exchange. Once again he was asking Jesus to prove Himself. Philip was suggesting that his little faith would grow if Jesus would just show him the Father. Even after all of the miracles and the teachings he still questioned who Jesus was. Even after all of the times Jesus saved them from being destroyed either by storm or by the angry crowds, Philip still questions. He still has doubts. He still isn’t quite sure who he’s dealing with here. This really stood out to me today because I realized that I am the same way. I still question God. I still wonder if He really loves me. I still ask if He’s going to answer me.
I guess I’m a comforted a bit to know that Philip, although he physically walked with the Lord, still questioned. I mean, there was no guessing here, Jesus was performing miracles. Philip had seen many, many people healed. He had witnessed the raising of Lazarus from the dead. That one should have been the clincher. That was never done before and he was present to see it. So why was he asking for more? That should have been enough. But it wasn’t. He simply didn’t connect the dots. Don’t we do the same thing? No matter how many prayers have been answered, we ask for more proof. It’s never enough. It seems as though our attention span is so short that we can’t remember the miracles Jesus did yesterday. We plead, “Oh God, if you would answer this one prayer, my faith would be so strong.”
I think that our faith doesn’t grow when God answers us or shows us mighty things. I think our faith grows in the waiting. I think that while we wait on God, we pray more. We come into His presence with our petition and plead for an answer. During that time He molds us and shapes us to receive His answer. He grows us and prepares us while we wait. I believe this is where our faith actually grows because this is where we learn that even if God refuses our request, He is still God. This is where we learn that if He honors our request, He has a much bigger plan for it than we do. You see, in the waiting we spend time with Him. And He speaks to us. He shows us His plan. He prepares our hearts. The answer doesn’t make us believe God more, the time in prayer does. If we have that constant dialogue with God, we don’t need a miracle, the relationship is enough.
At some point in our relationship with God we stop asking for proof. We accept each situation that comes upon us as being sifted through God’s fingers. We come to a place where we realize that God has ordained our lives and if He lets it in, He has a plan for it. Whether it is a tragedy or a blessing, He is in control of it all. When we realize that it’s all in God’s hands, then we simply ask Him what we should be doing. This weekend our pastor made the comment that we pray answers and wonder why God doesn’t give us what we want. Instead we should be asking what God wants us to do in each circumstance. We should be asking, “God what do you want me to do?” I have to agree with this. We do become frustrated and this too weakens our faith because we have asked for a particular outcome instead of asking where and what we should be doing while we wait.
In today’s scripture, Jesus couldn’t understand (well, he really could) why Philip was asking such a question. I wonder if He asks us the same thing sometimes. We are so fickle and forgetful that we base our belief on results. That is not how God works because He is all about our relationship with Him. He wants to spend time with us. If we don’t take that time, our faith will weaken. We simply need to make ourselves less busy and more available to Him. I have said before that my love language is quality time, so this one is easy for me to understand. I honestly feel honored that God would want to spend time with me. This is where my faith grows. This is where I hear His voice. This is where I begin to understand His plan for my life. This is where I learn that Jesus is enough.