John 20:24-25 MSG
But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.” But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.”
I deeply believe we can put requirements on GOD that He has not asked us to place on Him. We can find ourselves living in fear that what He promised will not come to pass, maybe it will never really happen. Then we put up these ridiculous requirements in order for us to believe- we put GOD through our logical conditional statements test: If You do this, then I’ll do this. I have done this in my own life and I have seen others do it. We have to learn how to keep waiting on the promises of GOD, to overcome fear of it never occurring. Of course, GOD is gracious and merciful and He’s truth. If He said He’s going to do something, then He’s going to do it; he’s not like us- we make a promise out of zeal but without first counting the cost and then we cannot maintain the commitment.
GOD always keeps His commitments so we can remove the walls we have created and let faith fill our hearts. When we are afraid we build walls. We begin going into a place of deep isolation in fear that we will get hurt again. All of the other disciples were together but the Bible says “Thomas was not with them.” For example, I live on a missions base and GOD told me to go live amongst the people but the same base I could use to create more room for others could also be used to block others out. He gives us more room to let more people in (starting with Him), not to make ourselves comfortable in unhealthy separation. So we need to keep the doors open and watch for His coming expectantly. Then with arms wide open we can say, “It’s You! My Savior! I knew You were coming soon so I waited trustingly like a little child! I was full of an awareness of Your great love for me! I knew You wouldn’t leave me hanging!”
Then we embrace Him and others fully. I was watching a documentary just yesterday about a lady who had a hurtful experience as a child. Then a misconception entered her heart, “You’re not physically attractive. No man will ever marry you.” From that point on the walls began to be built up inside of her; she was saying, ‘If you ever come I won’t believe you until I know that You are really the one, I have to touch you, put my hands through your side, before I believe. In the meantime, I’ll be as mean as I can to every man I meet. I’ll block you out before you can block me out, before you can reject me. I’ll write you off.” Perhaps Thomas was going through the same experience after a great loss. He was deeply hurt and didn’t want to be hurt again, he didn’t want to believe something good could happen again in this relationship because that was too risky. So he settled with living an emotionally isolated life.
Is this you today, realizing that the fort has been built and you are separating yourself from the opportunity to be loved by others? I encourage you to ask yourself the following questions, “What if the Messiah is about to come back again? What if He steps into my current situation and makes me whole in one moment of His presence? When He comes back will he find me believing, full of faith and great excitement or will He find me bitter, empty, full of aloneness and disbelief? Will He have to knock down doors I have built up all around me or will He find the doors already open, me sitting there waiting?”
Meditation: When I know that I am a particular person and someone tries to snatch that from me, how does that make me feel? When I have good motives and they don’t believe me or believe in me, how does that make me feel? Now imagine how Jesus felt when Thomas didn’t give Him the benefit of the doubt. This was an attack on Jesus’ integrity and character (even if unintentionally) due to hurt, loss and fear. Let’s believe in Jesus, let’s believe the best in Him.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
I found my facial expression on this recent picture quite reflective of this message. Looking a bit puzzled by the content and in need of more understanding: