The Men in Christ's Life: Doubting Thomas
- Thursday, February 04, 2010
My stepfather is only one example of a man who has impacted my life as a result of his relationship with Christ. Throughout this series, I want to share with you about some of the other men who have impacted my life solely because of their relationship with Jesus. I believe as I share that you, too, will connect with them and discover for yourself how God has always had a plan for you, is working it out in your life and will never leave you.
There are times in all our lives that we may question God. We may question if He is really there. We may question that Jesus was His son. We may question if He really cares about us and is listening to us. We may question if He loves us and why.
When I was a small child, I was very "religious." I grew up going to a Catholic church. Even though my birth father was Catholic and my brothers and I were baptized Catholic (my mom preferred not to convert from being a non-church-going Presbyterian), I was the only one who went to church. As I think back, I have tried to come up with a reason why I would choose to go to church (mass) even though none of my family went. The only thing I can come up with was church was just one more place I could talk, be creative, and build friendships. I wouldn't know it at the time, but it would create the foundation of my walk with the Lord.
From an early start in life I had always been very independent. So going to church (I would walk three blocks since the age of six) was something normal to me. I liked it, so I went. But there is something else I remember: I would learn to not only have reverence for my Holy God, but I was to fear Him, too. I was aware of when I did something bad that God would not be happy with me, but it would be many years before I would ask the Lord into my heart and receive salvation. Years before I understood why I feared God and why I needed to be "saved." This fear of God would lead to a relationship of doubt. A relationship of rules and regulations. A relationship of worry if I didn't follow the rules. A relationship where I was the child and God was the parent, waiting to strike me down, spank me or hurt me. I would grow in my relationship not really understanding His love for me. I would grow wanting God to prove Himself to me. I had become a doubting Thomas.
As the years passed, I would fall away from the Lord, stop going to church, and get into all sorts of trouble. I would spend several years chasing whatever that I thought would lead to happiness--whether it was wealth, fame, pleasure, or relationships, I was on the fast track. But like all fast tracks, they lead you in a circle, a wreck or sometimes death. Yes, mine would lead to a death, a death of my old life with the birth of a new life in Christ. But despite where Christ had saved me from, despite all the blessings of a new life, new direction, and new peace, etc., I would still have days of unbelief. Days where I just wasn't sure if God was God. Days that I wish He would just show up and I could touch Him. I could put my own fingers in His side. For sure, then I would then believe. If I could just touch Him, I would never not believe again. Or would I?
Now Thomas (called Didymus), 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 it." 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." Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20:24-31).
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