John 20:24-29 (NIV)

Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Mark 9:24 (NIV)

The boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

DEVOTION – Patricia A. Simmons (Missouri)

Recently I was with some friends discussing our understanding of God.  One person always referred to God using the phrase, “the God I don’t understand.”  Another said she was truly glad there was mystery involved with understanding God.  The third person said he had been searching everywhere for God and in every way possible, but he could not find God.  Therefore, he decided to quit the search and let God find him.  Then he added, “It worked!”

Listening to these comments made me think of Thomas’ experience of questioning and seeking.  And then I remembered the father who had asked for his son to be healed and how he answered Jesus by saying, “I do believe; help my unbelief!”

At times I am like each on in my group of friends, and sometimes I am like the people I read about in scripture.  I find comfort in knowing that people in the Bible grappled with the same feelings and challenges we experience today.  God always knows where we are.  When we are still (see Ps. 46:10) and make ourselves available to God, we are saying, “Here I am, God.  Find me!”  At times, I see God’s presence revealed through together people or even through nature (such as when a butterfly lights on my hand and stays there).  I am grateful for the mystery of the God I don’t fully understand.  And I’m equally grateful that when I cannot find God, I know that God can and will find me.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Perceptions may change, but God remains constant.

PRAYER: Thank you, God, that you never change.  Our understanding of you may change, but you forever remain the same.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Small-Group Discussions