I’ve been thinking about Doubting Thomas lately. Thomas, the infamous disciple, who couldn’t believe that Christ had risen from the dead until he saw and touched the scars in the palms of His savior’s hands, leads me to consider how I sometimes struggle to believe, to have faith.
It seems sort of silly now, but I recently thought that I might be pregnant. This wasn’t something that my husband and I were expecting, so the symptoms I seemed to be feeling came as a bit of a shock.
I love the children I’ve already been blessed with, and I can’t wait for the day when I can have more. This being the case, it didn’t take long for what started as a slight possibility to turn into a deep seeded hope and desire in my heart.
As soon as it seemed reasonable to do so, I took an at home pregnancy test. When I saw that the test was negative my heart sank. “It’s probably still too early,” I assured myself and determined to try again in a day or two.
Six pregnancy tests and about ten days later, my hope was all but lost as each and every test I took continued to turn out negative.
In my heart, in my mind, in my body I felt sure that I was pregnant, but with each negative pregnancy test I became more and more confused, and I didn’t know what to think. Was it still too soon to tell? Was my body playing tricks on me?
Discouraged, afraid, and full of doubt, I curled up with God and poured out my heart on the pages of my prayer journal. As I wrote out on paper all the movements and feelings of my heart, I realized that the real struggle I was facing was a struggle of faith.
A few weeks ago, one of the pastors at my church said something I’ve never heard before. He said that fear is counterfeit vision. Similarly, I think that doubt is counterfeit faith.
When the pregnancy tests I was taking kept turning out negative, I started to put my faith in these tests. The God of the universe, in this moment, in all moments, was and is with me, around me, inside me, and yet I was choosing to put my faith, in what I could see.
Perhaps it was the same with Thomas. While I’m sure his heart wanted to believe so badly that Christ was indeed alive, he placed his faith in the death he had witnessed just three days ago, in logic, in the laws of nature, in everything that seemed to be true.
Sometimes, it’s so easy to believe in what we see. Believing what we see makes sense, and we humans like to put our trust in that which makes sense. However, Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that faith is about believing in what we do not see.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
After sharing my heart with God, and turning my hopes, my doubts, and my fears over to Him, to His will, to His plans, I shifted my faith from that which I could see, from that which scared me, from that which caused me to doubt, to God and His promises. Just like Doubting Thomas, I looked to my Savior and placed my faith in the palm of His hands.
In the end, it eventually became evident that I was not pregnant, and although I was disappointed, my faith in God has given me peace and a reason to hope for the future, to hope for what is unseen. I am blessed with a heart that is not afraid because my faith is found in the heart of my Savior.
No matter what appears to be true in your life today, no matter what you see that may be scary, discouraging, or the cause of doubt, don’t be a Doubting Thomas. As the story of Thomas reminds us, our faith is in a risen Savior. Though our lives may not always make sense, though we may not always be able to see, our hearts need not be troubled. Christ is the source of our faith; Christ is our reason for hope.