Somehow I find Thomas an inspiring person. When it comes to him, it is often about his unbelieving side. ‘Doubting Thomas’ is even an expression. I just really think that we are doing the man a disservice.
Perhaps this defensiveness in me comes from the fact that I sometimes recognize myself in Thomas. One moment we see Thomas full of faith and passion as he says to his fellow disciples , “Let us also go and die with Him.” (John 11:16) And the next moment he sees nothing flying anymore and he says:If I don’t see and feel ‘I certainly won’t believe’ (John 20:25).
So wonderfully positive too. Do you recognize that? What a passionate person!
You know, sometimes I really have moments when I’m right on top of everything. Then I see and experience what God is doing. I absorb beautiful testimonies of how God gave just the right thing at the right time. I love worshiping God, making time for Him, spending time with Him. But sometimes… (and forgive my categoricalness).. but sometimes I don’t understand it at all anymore. Then I think I completely understand God’s plan. Then it fits perfectly and all the puzzle pieces seem to fall together. Full of expectation I take a step of faith and then… apparently nothing happens at all.
God does not make mistakes
After such experiences, we as Christians are very good at getting things straight. Then we encourage each other with beautiful texts that all things work together for good. That we will soon see and understand why this is happening this way and that you will also see and understand that this was ultimately the best way. And there is something beautiful in that too. I sense in that a desire to speak well about God. And rightly so, because God is good! And He makes no mistakes.
Like a deer
But sometimes you don’t see that. Then there is only pain and disappointment. The trick is not to confuse experiencing adversity with God’s absence. So I make that decision then. No matter how annoyingly incomprehensible God can be at times, He is also very honest. In the book that He gave us as an anchor in times like this, we read about people who have experienced exactly the same thing. Then you are suddenly very happy with Thomas in the Bible and you completely recognize his statement: If I do not see and feel ‘I will certainly not believe’ . (John 20:25) That is not unbelieving, that is longing. That is hunger for God. Like that deer longing for water, you know.
My Lord and my God!
Thomas touched me so much, in the middle of my mental dip. There are more like me! And Jesus does not condemn it. Of course it is stronger to believe without seeing, but the desire to see it is not wrong. And underneath the flow of frustration that I sometimes express to God (and sometimes also to people around me), there is a deep longing for more of Him. And He knows that. And then He comes. Even when my doors are closed and I can’t see it anymore. That’s how good our God is. My Lord and my God! Your Lord and your God.