Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40
If you’ve had the chance to catch The Santa Clause one of the dozens of times it’s airing this month or have seen it in the twenty years since its release, you may recall a scene early in the film. Scott Calvin has arrived back at the North Pole and an elf named Judy is helping him settle in for a well-deserved night’s sleep with a cup of perfect hot cocoa. Scott comments that the North Pole and everything around him is too wonderful to be real. “I see it, but I don’t believe it.”
“You’re missing the point,” Judy says. “Seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.”
For hundreds of years, the Jews believed God would send a Deliverer. Generations of them believed, but never saw that promise fulfilled. That’s how faith works. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the evidence, the proof of things we haven’t seen.
But sometimes, that’s asking a lot. Especially in a world where chaos seems to be winning. Especially when the some of the promises are entering their second millennium without being fulfilled. Especially when the things I see around me don’t seem to square with those promises.
There was a man in a similar situation in Jerusalem a very long time ago. He had lived his entire life under the domination of a brutal foreign power. There was heavy taxation. There was mockery of his religion and his heritage. There was no recourse for anyone mistreated at the hands of the government. And there had been no word from God in 400 years.
Yet Simeon believed.
He was committed to the hope of a Deliverer. It didn’t matter what he saw around him. He clung to what he knew. God keeps His promises. The Deliverer would come. Simeon’s belief was so strong that he expected to see this Deliverer.
So he watched for Him.
Day after day after day.
For a lifetime.
Believing became seeing.
At the prompting of the Holy Spirit, Simeon came to the Temple on the very day that Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to fulfill all the requirements of the law of Moses. Simeon knew. As soon as he saw the baby, he knew.
He took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said,“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation.” Luke 2:28:30
I get choked up every time I read that. Every single time.
Simeon’s faith was rewarded. His faith became sight.
Yours will be, too.
Keep expecting. Keep watching.