I Still Have Doubts
I still have doubts. Even the day after Easter. Last week my faith felt Baby Bow Tie happiness...all shiny and happy...
Today I feel more like this...
But that’s natural. We wouldn't need faith anymore if all our doubts were gone. And the author of Hebrews makes it clear that without faith one cannot please God. Faith and doubt work together. Anne Lamott says that the opposite of faith is not doubt; it’s certainty.
No one denies Jesus lived and died, that's just history. It's the empty tomb and the hundreds of witnesses that saw him after death that make us tilt our head. Because science can only prove something that is repeatable, we are dependent upon their testimony for this once-in-history moment. If Jesus rose from the dead, and I believe he did, He is exactly who He said He was, and He accomplished exactly what was predicted for thousands of years. He restored us. Jesus made it right. I know this to be true and yet still have doubts.
I love the disciple Thomas. He gets me. I’m certain we will be fast friends in the new heaven and new earth because he and I need to see to believe.
John 20:24-29 (NET) - "Now Thomas, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, 'We have seen the Lord!' But he replied, 'Unless I see the wounds from the nails in his hands, and put my finger into the wounds from the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe it!' Eight days later the disciples were again together in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although 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, and examine my hands. Extend your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe.' Thomas replied to him, 'My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, 'Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed.'"
Lucky Thomas. (Read major envy and an eye roll.) Of course he believed! He literally got to see the resurrected Lord. He put his own hands on Jesus’ scars. Thomas saw, and then he believed. If I were Thomas, I would have too. But I’m not Thomas. I haven't seen the scars myself. So what about us, the folks who don't get to see Christ's hands and feet?
"Now you are Christ’s body, and each of you is a member of it." 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NET)
For us who doubt and won’t get the privilege to see Jesus’ scars... You have us. We have each other. You and I are now the Body of Christ.
I’m not suggesting we replace Jesus with humans, that our scars replace Christ’s, or that we make ourselves God. That would be heresy. I’m suggesting we take 1 Corinthians 12:27 seriously. That we believe spiritually we are now Christ’s body and think about what that involves. Jesus has scars and wounds and so do you and I. Jesus showed them to doubters and so should we. Our motto should be, “Come and see my scars.”
We need each other the way Thomas needed to see for himself. And if we want to help someone in a time of doubt, we may not call upon a perfect illustration or story about a happy ending. Instead we could show our own scars and describe the healing work of our God in our deepest pain and lead with a limp.
These came to mind...
- "And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near." Hebrews 10:24-25 (NET)
- "Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgement and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly." Dr. Brene Brown, Daring Greatly.
- And then there is this Kari Jobe video. Mic drop. #yes #karijobe #freakingloveher #forever. If you're impatient, fast forward to 1:30 for the song.