Ps. 86:17 Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.
There have been days I have needed tangible proof. Thoughts are the intangible currency of my life, they are my art form, rather than concrete things such as houses or drawings or bread baking or paintings or my fingers touching an instrument, physically bringing forth a melody. As a writer I live in my head, out of my head, and from my head, and I am seemingly forever in deep thought. It is exhausting, sometimes.
And on rare occasions, my deepest thoughts and beliefs, even about God, are too abstract to satisfy even me. Even me....who normally finds a mere thought, when it is a new and a great one, to be completely enthralling. It is comforting to know that, when I am needy and worn out from believing in things my eyes cannot see, my God is perfectly willing to show me a token of His great love for me.
Proof. That is what that Hebrew word "token" means. The Bible is full of the mention of tokens from God's heart to man's weary spirit. The sun and the moon are tokens of His faithfulness. Proof. (Ge. 1:14) The rainbow is a token of His forever mercy. Proof. (Ge. 9: 12-17) The blood over the doorposts was a visual token, illustrating future redemption. Proof. (Ex. 12:13) Taking one day a week to rest and contemplate the things of God is meant to be something tangible, that anchors us - something we can return to, week in and week out, and discover God afresh. Proof - lived out every single week. If only we would. (Ex. 31:13, 17) Everything from a scarlet thread, to rocks in a river, to the fringe on a garment; they all were God-given tokens to humans who cannot dwell for very long in an abstract reality.
The incarnation is the Ultimate Token. Word became flesh and lived with us. Jesus said, after His resurrection, "Touch me. An intangible doesn't have flesh and bones like you see I have!"
Down through the corridors of time and eternity, those words find me. They find me where I am, flailing and trying-too-hard to believe in all the words I am reading, in all the true-truths that fill my brain. God invites me to touch Him and see for myself. No - He doesn't just invite me. He pulls me to His heart, takes me in His arms, and pulls from His bottomless pocket a token.
A house to live in.
A puppy to love.
A letter from a friend.
A breeze on a hot day.
I have a list of very personal and tangible proofs, as real and as visual as blood on doorposts, and the fringe on the garment of a priest. You should also have a list. If you don't have one, start one, today. My list is long. Many of the tokens on that list have come in answer to prayer, and I am encouraged and invited and commanded to pray for things I need. Yes, things! Things I can see, and things that others can look at, and see that God has, indeed, been very good to me.
Another list you should have is the list of tokens, for yourself and for others, that you do not yet possess. Some call it a "prayer list".
Justice is a thing. Bread is also a thing. Justice and bread are visible tokens to those that are given them, and a source of great pain to those who do without them. Those are our two examples, illustrated by Jesus, two objectives of insistent, incessant prayer. Bread for the body. Justice for the soul.
We can cry out for tangible proofs, to a tangible God.
He will show us a token for good.