Encouragement from a Doubting Thomasina
I was recently listening to a local radio program. It is not one I typically listen to, but I was in a hurry and had not changed the channel on my radio just yet.
I cannot even tell you what the subject matter was, only that the guest caller referred to “Doubting Thomas,” Jesus’ disciple famous for not believing he was seeing the resurrected Jesus, until Jesus showed the proof, by way of His freshly nail-scarred hand.
The host of the radio show (apparently named…you guessed it, ‘Thomas’) said he was actually named after this particular disciple, which I found odd.
I mean, you don’t see too many Judas’s’, Delilah’s, or Bathsheba’s’ running around, right?
Yet, I know several Thomas’. I contemplated this for several moments after changing the channel, and even off and on throughout the rest of the evening.
I actually awoke early this morning with this quandary still fresh on my mind.
I can totally relate to Thomas.
I am a ‘questioner.’ Always have been, always will be.
My early Sunday School teachers always told my parents how many questions I asked in class, and how I often succeeded at getting them off-track with the lesson.
Yet, they welcomed my questions because I was, at the very least, engaged.
My college major was Sociology, and our motto was “Question Your World,” which I did not need the screen-painted t-shirt to advertise, because I already lived the kitschy creed.
Some call it healthy questioning, others call it pessimism.
Still others might say I have trust issues…..major trust issues (they are not wrong).
I just do not take anything at face value. I always feel there is an underlying message beyond what people say or do.
Sometimes I am right, other times I am just wasting energy and time because I am far off the mark.
The thing I love about Thomas, one of Jesus’ beloved friends, is this: Had he not questioned Jesus, I likely would have.
Perhaps you would have as well?
I like to think I would have been more like those that saw Jesus after the resurrection and faithfully, wholeheartedly believed.
However, my personality is much more like Thomas’s. “Show me you are who you say you are!”
The cool thing about Jesus is that He did not berate Thomas for his disbelief. On the contrary, He simply showed him, with these arrow-straight-to-the-heart words from John 20:29:
“Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”John 20:29 NIV
Thomas, in his doubting, actually bridged a gap for hundreds of thousands of believers to come after his appointed time upon this earth.
He, in his questioning, provided proof to the remainder of the “Doubting Thomas’s” of the world that Jesus did, in fact, rise from the dead.
He saw the nail scars to prove it!
Instead of bemoaning poor Thomas, perhaps we should thank him for saving us from having to ask Jesus to “show us.”
Our faith in not seeing can be further strengthened by the one man who did see…and then believed.
I suppose the point of this myriad of musing is that if you doubt things in life, it is okay. I do, too.
Even if you doubt Jesus is who He says He is. Go ahead, ask Him! Ask Him to reveal Himself to you.
He may not show you His physical hand, with the deeply nail-scarred wound, but I can personally attest that He will show you His heart. He will reveal Himself to you, in ways that truly speak to your soul.
It is okay to doubt, it is likely better to have faith beyond what we see.
Yet, the God of all mankind knows each and every heart, and I truly believe that He loves the doubters just as much as the believers.
Please don’t simply sit in your doubt; rather, put your faith, questions, concerns, even doubts, in Him.
And watch Him provide the personal proof, in whatever language that speaks directly to your heart, that He is exactly who He says He is.