The same hands that once embraced dear doubting Thomas, the same hands that were stretched out and used to secure Jesus to the cross...these were the same hands that served to remedy Thomas' doubt.
"I haven't told anyone this...but there are things about the Bible that I just don't understand. Am I wrong to say 'I don't get it?' Am I wrong to avoid passages because they trouble me? Am I less of a Christian because I don't have an intellectual answer for every difficult question that someone brings to my attention? Am I wrong for feeling troubled by these questions myself?
Am I wrong...to have doubts?”
The tears were literally flowing. Though I felt emotional myself, knowing that my friend was grieving, I wasn't worried for them in the slightest. I could hear it in their shaky voice, a tone of fear so burdened with the potential of betraying what they knew too-well to be their first love– even if in the moment they had reservations. Their subtle death grip clung to the reality that God was real and everything they had been taught was real.
But for the moment, this truth was distant. So distant. Like a lighthouse barely palpable past the tormenting storm between. Its swiveling beam a feint pulsing illumination boldly declaring its presence but hardly seen.
My friend was the ship, earnestly seeking refuge in a season of storms.
As they were pouring their heart, and snot, out to me I couldn't help but think of Thomas, dear doubting Thomas. A man who loved Jesus intimately and yearned for more of Him. But during a season of doubt, he felt inclined towards unbelief until he was given sufficient evidence. Then when the evidence, Jesus, came to Thomas (this is where it gets good) he was met not only with evidence, but with love and revelation.
Instead of being angry, Jesus showed him His hands.
The same hands that once embraced dear doubting Thomas, the same hands that were stretched out and used to secure Jesus to the cross...the same hands that served to remedy Thomas' doubt.
Thomas' doubt wasn't disobedient, indeed his obedience was revealed in his transparency.
His obedience was his authenticity. He didn't claim peace when he had none, instead he was brutally honest. I say brutally because his fellow disciples claimed that Jesus had risen from the dead, that which was prophesied thus they should have known it, and he still doubted. He basically told them that they were lying...lying about Jesus rising from the grave. It hadn't been but a few days since Jesus was crucified and they were still emotionally broken over his death, this is not something they would make up. Thus it was beyond audacious for Thomas to deny their story...THAT is authenticity.
“Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
O that we would all be so vulnerable.
Thomas' staunch unwillingness to believe was proof that he wanted to believe, otherwise there would be no reason to have such an aggressive rejection to the disciples' story. He felt more comfort in refusing the truth than he did to get his hopes up of something he wanted so deeply and possibly be disappointed.
Doubt, often times, is the manifestation of our faith.
Doubt is evidence that we know truth and are wrestling with it, sometimes violently, in a subconscious battle to eliminate the source of our apprehension. Thomas was not content with the account of his fellow disciples, but it didn't mean he was not willing to believe or that he did not want to believe. Of course he wanted to believe. His Savior was dead, so at least he thought. Of course he wanted to believe Jesus was alive.
And Jesus met Thomas where he was at.
Dear doubting Christian,
We serve the Almighty God with attributes that are not only impossible for us to reflect but unfathomable as well. If you don't doubt at some point in your life then I would be skeptical of whether you've really encountered Creator God. We don't believe out of obedience, we believe because we know it's true. But we are fallen, and this fallen nature can rear its ugly head into our relationship with God. But, as seen in the story of Thomas, Jesus will meet you where you're at.
To the ear of the doubting Christian,
Walk with your Thomas, talk with your Thomas, pray with your Thomas. Take advantage of the fact that this season in their life is preparing them for a greater, stronger, and impactful walk with the Lord. If you don’t have the intellectual answers prepared, which is fine, point them towards a source that can. William Lane Craig and other leading Christian apologists/theologians have YouTube channels and other media platforms specifically tailored for the difficult questions.
But also be aware that sometimes your Thomas just needs to sit down in silence with someone who loves them. Sometimes a hug, paired with a gentle voice saying “I’m with you in this season,” is just as healing as a well-orchestrated delivery of the Ontological Argument for God’s existence.
For the gospel //