Read John 20
ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
Over the course of the month of March, my family and I sat down to watch the Bible series, which aired for five consecutive Sundays on the History Channel. The last two and a half episodes were centered around the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It is during those episodes that we become acquainted with Thomas, one of the twelve disciples.
In the series, the shaved headed Thomas always looks dour and disgruntled. He always seems to be warring with his being a disciple and the things Jesus is teaching. He is never fully convinced of who Jesus is, or so he appears, and the miracles just don’t seem to be convincing him.
Even when Jesus appears to him in the upper room, following the resurrection, Thomas still refuses to believe. “No, I can’t believe it,” Thomas exclaims, “It can’t be real.” Even as Jesus is standing right before Thomas, he is shown to be doubting the reality of what he is witnessing. In fact, in the TV series, it seems that Thomas isn’t doubting at all…he just simply doesn’t want to believe.
While the series wasn’t entirely true to the character of Thomas, as Thomas never refuses to believe the reality of the resurrection when Jesus is standing before him in the room, it is a fact that Thomas has become known to us as the doubter. And in his doubt, it seems that often times the Bible, and we people of “faith”, seem to look down upon him for having his doubts.
What’s more, often times we, as Christians, look down at people who struggle with doubt. We act as if we are so sure about everything. We say amongst ourselves, “Oh come on! How could you not believe?” Perhaps we feel good about ourselves in doing so. Perhaps it gives us a sense of comfort to know that we are standing on a faith of solid rock; yet, even if that is the case, we are only left with a false sense of security.
Even the most solid rock in the world can be utterly cracked and disheveled by a major earthquake. There is nothing on this earth that stands the test of time without experiencing uncertainty and doubt. I can be said that the life that denies the existence of doubt denies the very nature of what it means to be alive. After all, what do we know? Honestly, what are we so sure of that there is no room for doubt?
The truth of the matter is that there is no life lived that has not experienced doubt. Thomas is not the weakest link in Jesus chain of disciples, he is one of the strongest links. He refused to believe something just because someone else told him it was true. He had to experience it for himself; it had to become real for him in order for him to accept it.
When we stop to think about it, one would have to say that, in fact, one cannot truly believe something unless they have experienced the truth of it. Mary had the privilege of witnessing Jesus outside the tomb, why then would we deny Thomas the experience of witnessing Jesus? Why would we want to deny anyone, including ourselves, the opportunity to personally witnessing the presence of God in our lives?
The next time you have doubts, be honest with yourself. Embrace those doubts and ask the necessary questions you need to ask. Recognize that doubt is not your enemy, doubt is not the opposite of faith. Come to the understanding that doubt is the bedrock from which faith springs! Know that you are not alone in your doubts and that from your doubts your faith shall rise.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
Doubt is the bedrock from which faith springs.
Lord, I believe. Help me with my unbelief. Amen.