March 31, 2014

No longer Thomas, the doubter

I have been David, confronted by Nathan, shamed and found out. Redeemed and given a second chance.

I have been Peter, thoughtless and big-mouthed, passionate and bold. I have denied Christ and I have been restored.

But above all, I have been Thomas. Doubting Thomas. I have walked with Jesus and I have seen his work. I have been faced with his grace, lavished by his mercy, surrounded by his love. And yet I have doubted.


I doubt.

I doubt daily.

I say: “Unless I see the wounds on his side, the piercing of his hands, unless I see them…I will no longer believe!”

And over and over Jesus shows me his wounds, tells me the story of how He died for me.

Over and over.

Day after day.

Long after I’ve been David redeemed, long after I’ve been Peter restored, I am still Thomas doubting.

And I’ve worried: will his patience run out? Will He tell me one day, “Enough already, you faithless girl!”? Will He tire of the endless cycle of my doubt spitting in the face of the endless cycle of his faithfulness?

Then He speaks.

My eyes fall tiredly upon a story I have read a hundred times before.

There is a father whose child is dying. He comes to Jesus for help and is faced with a phrase that has become familiar to us today: All things are possible  for the one who believes” (Mark 9:23, NLT).

And this father utters what is becoming my life verse:
I believe but help me overcome my doubt.” (Mark 9:24, NLT)

And with those few simple words from a man I’ve never met I have been set free.

I am free to confess my doubt honestly and openly because Jesus did not chastise the father. He did not cast him aside or called him faithless. He met this man at the point of his desperate need and healed the boy.

Such love.

Such patience.

All God is asking of me is to take one step towards him (I believe!) and admit I have no more faith to take another (Help my doubt!). He will come to me and give me grace to walk the rest of the way.

He is not angered by my confession of my need for him. Neither is He surprised. I think He is glad to know that I know that I don’t have it all together. That is not by my works or my strength that my faith grows.

My faith does not come from my own struggle to believe but by his power alone, and by his willingness to keep showing me his wounds and telling me the story of his sacrifice.

And so I learn, because of this father’s tale, that I don’t have to remain a Doubting Thomas. When doubt creeps my way and faith seems to elude me, I become the father and repeat brokenly and trustingly “I believe BUT help me overcome my doubt!

Over and over.

Day after day.


Kathleen T. Jaeger said...

Ahh, yes, Gaby. I love it that He provides a way to deal with and overcome our doubt. Thanks for the great reminder and it is good to see you here in blog land.
Missed you while you were out!

Dolly@Soulstops said...

I love that story and I pray with that father's prayer on a regular are not alone, my friend...great to see you :)

Debbie said...

From one growing Thomas to another: Wonderful words!! I have the same problem and can't tell you how many times I have cried out that very verse to Him.

These days, I'm in great need of His patience and His help in that very area.

Jean Wise said...

“I believe but help me overcome my doubt.”

one of my favorite prayers!!