A conversation with God can be tough. I have never experienced a miraculous vision, heard God’s audible voice, or been startled when Jesus, Himself, showed up in my bedroom. I have no doubt that these things can and do happen.
They just haven’t happened with me.
So this makes the conversation hard at points. I want nothing more than to sit with God, (knees shaking and all) and talk. I want nothing more than to reach out and touch the holes in Christ’s hands and feel the hole in his side.
Wait. Was it not doubting Thomas that desired these same things?
Perhaps there is a reason we do not see God, or hear His voice, or feel His side. Perhaps God is most glorified and we are most happy when we live by faith!
Yet, David Thoreau writes in Walden these words, “How vigilant we are! determined not to live by faith if we can avoid it; all the day long on the alert, at night we unwillingly say our prayers and commit ourselves to uncertainties.”
Vigilant faith avoiders.
That about summarizes my relationship with God. I want everything Christ has to offer. I want His purity, His love, His tenderness, His strength, His fierceness…but please don’t give me faith!
And this is the test, Christian: will we be able to trust without seeing Him? We know His love, we know His grace, and Creation tells of His mighty splendor. Yet, will we trust without digging our hands into His side? Will we have faith without looking at the gaping holes in His hands?
We mustn’t be too harsh on our brother Thomas for we have something He did not: the Counselor. We have the Spirit of the living God dwelling inside of us and this is why we can have such faith. This is how we can be sure of unseen things and worship a King we have not felt.
Yet, doubt is not the enemy. It’s what we do with out doubt that defines our growth or decay.
The Psalms are a great place to take our doubt. The Psalms teach us how to really pray. The Psalms invite us to be honest when we are afraid to admit our fears, doubts, concerns, hatred, anger, and pride.I lift my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip- he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. (Psalm 121)