John 20:24-29 (NRSV)

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin  ), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”   

Hebrews 11:1,3 (NRSV)

1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

DEVOTION – Karyn Schumpert (Colorado)

As a child, I found faith in God easy.  I felt it when singing hymns and hearing Bible stories in Sunday school and church.  I felt it when I prayed.  As I got older, though, I found that holding on to my faith – and even, sometimes, a belief in God – was difficult.  I remembered the story of “Doubting Thomas.”  Thomas was not one of the first witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection, but Jesus appeared to him a week later and admonished him, “Do not doubt but believe.”  I found parallels between my own struggles and Thomas’s struggles to believe.

I have sympathy for Thomas.  I take heart that Jesus understood there would be doubt among his followers.  After years of feeling lost, I take comfort in God.  I view my struggles with faith not as failures but as opportunities to seek Jesus and to look for the signs of him in my daily life.  I find relief, knowing that he loves me and forgives me.  He is with me to show his wounds and to heal mine.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Our doubts and struggles can strengthen our faith and commitment.

PRAYER: Dear God, help us to use our doubt as an opportunity to seek your word and to strengthen our love, life, and faith.  Amen.