A common theme in a few of my blogreads seems to be doubt and struggle with belief. It is painful for us when we have bouts of unbelief. I have very few of those, thankfully, but when they hit, they hit hard and fast. . .then dissipate when I recall all of my supernatural moments with God. Those moments, dreams, and amazing happenings that are so surreal in the physical realm are incredible--but I do have moments of doubting that they ever happened. That feeling of brief unbelief is like someone punching you in the stomach and you lose your breath for a moment. "Are we really alone? Is there no God? Oh, my God!"
I appreciate the transparency of my blog buddies. I know they struggled with posting some of those posts...presenting themselves naked to the cyber world that their faith isn't "perfect." We all struggle with transparency--and I know a few of you think I can be very transparent, but, really...it's very hard for me.
Anyway....doubting....I feel sorry for Thomas. He doesn't get much in the way of praise from anyone, he even has a gnostic gospel that people like to point fingers at to prove he was one of the lesser disciples. He was a tad sarcastic, "Sure, let's ALL go with Jesus so we can be killed, too!" Geez. I can almost hear myself say that, can't you? I find him very real, and I appreciate this honesty in scriptures--proof to me that these stories are real.
All the disciples suffered from doubt from time to time, and Jesus got more than a little frustrated with them. The disciples aren't really any different from us, are they? They represent all of us, and I think we can pick out one that we identify with in particular. One night I awoke saying, "I am Peter." And, I was.
So, back to doubting. I've had some pretty cool experiences, and so have most of you--and yet we still have those moments of doubt. Mainstream Christianity would have us believe that we're not supposed to have doubts...heck, the Bible would have us believe that, and isn't that great...more guilt to heap upon ourselves. But, there in the black and white are the disciples, who WERE THERE with Jesus. The Man is right in front of them, and still they have their moments of doubt. He does one thing after another, and they still have the occasional moment. They freak out when He walks on water to them. How would they feed all those hungry mouths waiting to hear Jesus? They disappeared after his death and burial. They acted....well...human.
So, 2000 plus years later, we chide ourselves for not believing, for doubting, for questioning, and we haven't had the opportunity to walk side by side with the physical Man.
Maybe it's all the peripheral stuff that gets in our way. We have little church rules and regulations, and lots of godly books and articles to read, and ways to pray, and how to talk and encourage, and all of the stuff that we humans have to dream up in order to "control" every freakin' part of our existence. We have to have organizations; meetings; brochures; and protocol in just about every thing we do. Maybe some these things are a distraction and the cause of the check in the spirit that we get that things aren't quite "right."
What if we just clear the table and picture ourselves walking with Jesus every day? What if we went about our busyness as if He were right here with us? What if we took the opportunity, like Jesus, to be interrupted by whomever was in need--and we did whatever we could at that moment to fill those needs, right there, right then? It certainly wouldn't be easy, but I think we'd be spending a lot less time doubting, and a whole lot more time . . .doing.