I should have been there. At the cross. At his grave. In the room with the rest of the disciples. You’ve got to understand – my world had just turned upside down.
Nothing seemed real to me anymore, you know?
Maybe you know the feeling of what its like to live with crushing doubt- wanting to believe in something but everything in your head tells you that it couldn’t possibly be true.
Could he really have been the Messiah after all that had happened? It was already hard enough to believe what he said when he was with us everyday teaching us about the Father and about heaven on earth. Trying to make sense of what he said to us after he was killed seemed like an exercise in futility.
The last thing I wanted to do amidst the present devastating circumstances was meet with my fellow disciples. I decided not to attend their meeting.
That was the meeting when something really big happened.
You miss one meeting and it leads to you getting stuck with this nickname. It’s unfair really, “Doubting Thomas.” Do people call Peter “the Coward?” Or Peter “the Impulsive One?” Or Peter “the Apostle with the Foot-shaped Mouth?” Not everyone is afforded such a fabulous nickname like “the Beloved Disciple, the Disciple whom Jesus Loved.” Those are lovely nicknames, and nicknames that I might add that John gave himself.
For a whole week I had to listen to those guys tell me over and over again how they had seen Jesus. They tried to persuade me with the details of their story, like how he blessed them with peace and gave them his spirit.
“Why don’t you believe Thomas? You’re such a doubter.” Oh, like they had such a great faith. They had to see with their own eyes. I simply wanted the same opportunity. I wanted to be able to see what they saw and touch the wounds that they described to me. Was that too much to ask?
So the next time everyone gathered together I made sure I didn’t miss the meeting. I was the first one there. I had learned my lesson.
As we were all gathered behind locked doors, out of nowhere, there he was standing right beside me. “Peace be with you,” he said and I felt at peace.
He spoke – to me – he was speaking directly to me. Like there was no one else in the room. Just him and I alone.
He looked at me and he loved me.
He said, “Thomas, put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
“My Lord, and my God.” That’s what I said. I couldn’t help but say it.
It felt so good to finally believe.
Then he told us that as the Father sent him he was going to send us. I thought, “Wow!” In spite of everything; our fear, our desertion, our doubts. He was still calling us to ministry. I was overwhelmed and forever changed.
You know what? Yes, I am Doubting Thomas but I believe! My faith in the risen Lord is greater than my doubt. I will be Doubting Thomas so that others will know that even those with doubts can believe in the risen Christ.
If you doubt you can still believe. Even if you doubt God can still use you. I am known as Doubting Thomas but I too am proud to say that I am the disciple whom Jesus loved.
I, Doubting Thomas am the disciple whom Jesus loved.