Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter and Believing and Doubting

Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

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: 24-29

I am a believer. But I am also a doubter. And, in my opinion, anyone who says they have no doubts is either dishonest or delusional, or both. The Bible is full of doubters. Almost every major character in the Bible had doubts at some point. So I think God is OK with doubters.

We have doubts when bad things happen to good people. When natural disasters strike. When an innocent child is dying from some terrible disease. When a van loaded with Christian seniors returning from a retreat gets crushed by a pick-up driven by a young man who decided texting was more important than driving. When a job is lost. When a marriage falls apart. When a child raised the right way, goes wrong. When prayers seem to go unanswered. When one ask “Where is God in all of this”? Why is this happening?

Even Jesus himself had a moment of doubt. In the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed not once but three times that “this cup” might pass. But, he always added these words, “yet not as I will, but as you will…” Jesus was both divine and human and the human side of him was filled with dread. And the human side of Jesus was looking for a way out. That is our human nature as well. And when we look for a way out, doubt is usually right there with us.

Doubting is part of believing. Doubting comes with the territory of being a human being living in a broken world. Easter is a good time for us to think about what we believe, why we have doubts and what we will do with our beliefs and our doubts.

As believers, we live by faith. We surrender to God and say those words from long ago…yet not as I will, but as you will. What other option do we really have? He is God and we are not. I have no doubt about that.

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