Fast on the heels of bright spring Easter euphoria, grey clouds of doubt grumble. Just a week or so ago, we celebrated the everlasting good news of an empty tomb. With eyes glued to the risen Christ, we rejoiced.


Yet days later, some small shadow twists or turns rejoicings into reverberations. What felt so steadying, wobbles. Certain of Jesus’ deep affection shown forth in His brutal sacrifice and glorious triumph, misgivings crash the party, shatter certainty into uncertainty, belief into disbelief, trust into mistrust.


Full of wonder, we stood at the top of the mountain full of jubilation. Good news showered down. We’ve sung the chorus loud and bold: Christ the Lord is Risen today. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Jesus rose. We bowed down in awe. Our heart leapt with joy.


The worst thing happened. Then it was followed by the best ever moment. The job loss turned into new doors opening, an adventure on the way. The long wait gives way to the lovely waft of wonder.


Perhaps, like me, you recall the most wonderful deep delight at a women’s retreat. Intimacy with Jesus danced across the weekend’s wonder a welcome drink of goodness after desert dryness.

Yet mere weeks later, hesitations sprout, shutting down joy’s new growth.


Or perhaps your story holds the wistful twist, where it looks like Jesus shows up for everyone around you. Their wildest unfathomable dreams spring forth into glowing reality. Long-prayed prayers shimmer and glitter with one yes after another. Yet your own fervent pleas echo into the vast hollow dark of no, no, no.


Back in the Garden of Eden, the enemy of our soul flung insidious arrows of doubt into the atmosphere of love. The repercussions of that refrain drown out hope’s harmony. Mixed-up medleys of mistrust sing daunting doubts into every corner of the universe, showing up eons later as a familiar chorus hummed deep in our being.


Travel back in time to the days just after that first euphoric Easter.


    • You didn’t run from the tomb with the women astonished at dawn on the Third Day.
    • You didn’t fly back down the dusty road to the tomb with out-of-breath Peter and John.
    • You weren’t on the Emmaus Road where a Mysterious Stranger explained eons of Scripture.
    • Your heart stayed cold, while others’ hearts warmed wondrously in His presence.


You weren’t there when everyone else saw Jesus.


Stand for a moment, watching Thomas watch what happens. Feel his uncertainty, his longings, his questions. Like Thomas, we encounter doubts. Certainty eludes us. Absence pursues us. Qualms challenge questions, suspicions, or envy. Doubt brings forth such noisy companions inside us, doesn’t it?


* * * * *

Return to the scene in John 20:24-31. Imagine yourself as Thomas, the one not seeing Jesus when the others did see Him. Now, remember a moment in your own story when doubt shouted loud at you. Like Thomas, we too are pummeled by doubts. Dip between Thomas’ story and your own as you consider these questions.

    • What’s it like to have missed seeing Jesus?
    • What emotions erupt?
    • What do you say to yourself in the middle of these doubts?
    • What happens when you finally encounter Jesus?
    • What about Him assuages your doubts?
    • What about this moment will hold you when the long nights ramble loud again, trying to knock down all solid and sound true belief?

Doubt wants the upper hand. Moments with Jesus shove the doubts away. We see that happen for Thomas. We experience it ourselves when we encounter the risen Jesus.


* * * * *


Whether Easter’s fine alleluias still resonate loud and strong for you or you’ve tripped upon the twisted roots of doubt, let Thomas befriend you. Watch him as he shifts from commotion to connection, from disorder to order, from doubt to belief. Like Thomas, may you settle yourself into the presence of Jesus, ever the Prince of Peace your heart and mine most need. May His intentional intimate actions and words delight you.


Oh, how He loves us!



For additional reading and reflection on Thomas and doubting:

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