Doubt: A Parable

“Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas,[a] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'”–John 20:24-29

Rain beat the worn, pebbled drive. Puddles pooled. A motorcyclist swerved. A woman with a bright yellow umbrella and soaked stockings scurried past. Then as soon as the storm had started it stopped. The clouds peeled away and a spectrum of light burst forth. The baker man raced towards the scattered light, pointed towards the sky, and called for friends to gather.

I, curious to their excitement, wandered out. Here they stood amazed at that arch in the sky. I’ve never been one to chase or stand in awe at one of heaven’s charms. Others have always seemed struck with astonishment and glee whenever they gazed upon this promise. Not me. At least not until last night.

Finally, the realization of that promise penetrated my soul. There was flooding, but not around the earth. The torrent heeded shortly after starting. Then there was deliverance, akin to Noah’s day. It did flood my soul, drowning the suspicious spirit within. God does that. He delivers his people. He delivers them from mockers, tribulation, and sorrow. It won’t always be how you expect, but he will deliver you.

Sometimes it takes wrestling with him to understand that he will deliver you. He bore our scars to pay the cost of reconciliation. He delivered us from the flesh’s slavery. However, I can’t always see the promise of deliverance. The shower’s after-haze often leaves me dazed, confused, and questioning.

It did for Thomas too. God said that those who believed without seeing would be more blessed than Thomas. At least that’s what I’ve gathered from the text. What is that blessing though? Is it the assurance of God’s promises? I think so. There are countless stories of those who questioned God (David in the Psalms, Job, and Elisha’s servants to name a few). Each took a journey to grow closer to their Savior. Doubt was part of their story. They had to test their faith (1 Thess. 5:21) and count the cost of following God to understand that he always delivers.

I think that’s why I become frustrated when a friend says that doubt is a lack of trust. Instead, I have gathered, from interpretation and study, that doubt is a springboard to deeper waters of trust. You need your questions answered so you’ll dig further to find the treasures of his answers. The storms of doubt break way to seeing promises. I may grow weary and tired, but the doubt only leaves me, in the end, trusting him through any down pour and flooded valley. I realize he doesn’t always have to give me my desires. Now I’m not saying he can’t give me more than I could ever possibly imagine (I mean I look at my husband and think how God has given me blessings beyond my wildest dreams), but I’m saying that even if he doesn’t he’s good. I might not always see him or let him carry me across a valley’s moat, but I continue seeking him. In the end, I find he’s never left me.

Doubt is a part of my story, a part of this particular leg of the journey, that has only left me panting after him to fill me. Doubt hasn’t meant that I’m not seeking to trust. Doubt often pulls me to more intimate levels of fellowship with the great I AM, present in a still small voice calling out to me. I may not get all the blessings afforded unto me if I didn’t need to see, but I’m maturing and learning to walk with him even in darkness. Doubt is showing me that after passing through this storm, I’ll wind up trusting him with more.

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