Belief & Doubt

This is an unpublished devotion that I wrote a few months ago. I would appreciate knowing what you think about it.

I cannot speak for others but I know that much of what I do today is a result of what I did when I was in college. But it was more that my being a chemistry major in college or that I worked in chemical education after I graduated.

College was also the time during which I began to ask questions about my faith and I began to seek answers to those questions. Perhaps that’s the way it should be. There has to be a time and a place where one can begin to ask questions and find answers on their own; for me, college was that time and that place.

But this search, this quest, comes from more than what one learns from a book or in a classroom; it also comes from being in a new place at a transitional period in your life. It means that you take what you have read and heard and learned and use that knowledge. It means that as you find the answers to questions you have been asking, you also find that you are asking more questions.

For the followers of Jesus, this transitional period of time was that period right after that First Easter and the Resurrection. First, there were the questions about what would happen to them and what would they do now that Jesus was dead. Then they began to wonder about the meaning of the Resurrection and what they would do because He was alive. Should they tell others or should they keep it to themselves?

We all know the story about how Thomas questioned what the other disciples, and perhaps others, were telling him. It wasn’t so much that he doubted what he was being told but that he wanted to know for himself that Christ had truly risen from the dead; he wanted that little extra bit of information.

A lot of people today are like Thomas; it isn’t that they doubt that Christ is real; they want the same proof that Thomas wanted, the evidence that Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried, they want to touch Him and put their hands in His wounds.

People today are seeking the truth, much as Thomas did. They see a world in flames and wonder how this could happen; they see neighbor attack neighbor or let others starve or shiver in the cold and they ask how could Christ be alive today? And perhaps the same is true for those who do believe as well.

And this is where the challenge lies. It is, I believe, permissible to doubt one’s faith but that should only move you to seek it even more. But it is more than simply asking questions; it is also about providing the answers, answers like those that Jesus gave Thomas. Others will believe because they see that Christ is alive.

If one believes that Christ did arise from the tomb on that First Easter, then one is prepared to live out the story in his or her own world today. If we live the life that we have been called to live, then what we do offers the proof that Christ is alive. Our challenge today is to find ways to express the love God had when He sent His Son that tells the world that we believe.

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