Doubt

John 20:24-29  24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “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.”26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.” 
 
It’s such a simple command, “Do not disbelieve, but believe.” That’s it. Just believe. But we struggle with that sometimes don’t we? I’ll speak for myself here and say, so many times, even in my absolute wanting to believe His promises, there are times I’m doubting in the same breath as I’m claiming. Yikes! Pure, raw honesty there. It’s as if I’m grabbing hold of the bottle of water that’s right in front of my face to drink because I’m thirsty but then I drop it and instead of picking it right back up to chug a lug, I just start hoping someone or something will come along and pour it down my throat for me OR, even worse, my hope goes away and I begin to accept the thirst, the dry throat and I fall into a trap of accepting untruth. “I’ll just always be thirsty, I will probably die of thirst.” That is dangerous friends! Because when we find ourselves accepting untruth and thinking things will never change due to our unbelief/doubt then we can know we are being gripped by the powers of darkness and that’s when we need to believe and be honest with God more than ever. I’ve found that when I share that doubt with God instead of pretending it’s not there and real, (because come on, we all know He knows it whether we share it with Him or not), I grow closer to Him, even in my doubting, because I’m choosing to be open with Him about it. He can handle it by the way, so if you are feeling doubtful about a situation or circumstance and are unsure of how to move past that, just tell Him. Go ahead, tell Him. Right now…that thing that popped into your mind as you are reading this, “God, I am having trouble believing you will…” By doing that, there’s a sense of deep acceptance and trust that comes immediately when you can release that to Him. Don’t live in the shame that comes from religion, but walk in the freedom that comes from relationship. He knows we have doubts and He knows what they are. And guess what? He still loves us anyway! It’s ground for growth when we confess it to Him. No fancy words, just an honest and open heart. When we doubt and then allow our integrity to put it on the table before Him, He uses that. Look at how He handled Thomas in his doubt. Jesus allowed him to see for himself. He didn’t get upset or mad and disown him, but instead he said, “See? Touch.” Now, maybe God won’t always afford us the opportunity to see with our eyes like he did Thomas, but next time you have doubt or unbelief, ask God to help you with it, and then step out in faith and remember what He said, “blessed are those who have NOT seen and yet still believe.” YES!! Win! That’s me most of the time, that’s YOU most of the time (or is it? Be honest with yourself and God). So don’t let the onesies or twosies derail your faith, but instead use it to propel you into exploring even more of what God has to show you about His vast greatness. Simply reminding yourself of that in the midst of doubt and unbelief will spur you on. Watch your faith grow as you step out in faith and honesty with the Lord despite your uncertainty and remember, NONE of us have arrived yet. We are all still works on the wheel. Keep spinning friend!
Leah Parkin