when doubt rages

by Edie Wadsworth on April 7, 2013

Today is the 2nd Sunday of Easter.  Did you know that Easter isn’t over?  The historic church celebrates Easter until Pentecost, which is 50 days after Resurrection Sunday.  So, there are 7 Sundays in Easter and after living with the church year calendar for awhile, you start to remember  what’s coming.  That and the fact that the  girls and I always read the lessons for the upcoming Sunday the week before made me sure that we would be reading about  ’Doubting Thomas’ in the Gospel lesson today.  And I’ve always felt a little sorry for Thomas, truth be told.   He’s the one who wouldn’t believe the Resurrection until he saw it for himself.  He was a bit of a skeptic.  He wasn’t sure.  It seemed impossible to him.   And if you’re like me, there are times when all you know for sure is that there’s nothing you know for sure.  Doubt rages and threatens everything you’ve come to believe in.  We are creatures of doubt.  We have a bent toward unbelief.   We need proof.  A sign.  Anything.

Our Father comes to us with Good News.  He is gracious and goes to every length to meet us where we stand, right smack dab in the middle of our distrust and faithlessness and uncertainty.  He climbs right into our flesh and walks in our shoes.  He knows our struggle and fear and rejection.  He’s well acquainted with grief.  He is no stranger to hurt and betrayal and heartbreak.  Your doubt doesn’t shake Him  but it does get His attention.  He makes a special trip to see the doubting one.   He comes, not in judgement, but  with a heart full of compassion.

And so it is with us.

We are weak and unsteady.  We falter and fail at every turn. We are filled with sin and doubt and darkness.

His love is greater still.

Christ comes to us in our unbelief with mercy and love.  He’s not angry with us.  He isn’t disappointed that our faith is failing.  He always knew we were hanging on by a thread.  So, He comes to us, like He came to Thomas— to bring us peace.  He comes to us in His word and speaks comfort into our hearts—words that are so powerful that they actually create the faith they speak.  He comes to us in the waters of Baptism and puts His name on us and gives us His spirit.  He comes to us in The Lord’s Supper with  a tangible sign that we can touch and taste and eat.  He knows that we are weak and so He will nourish us and feed us on Himself and make us strong.

We are never closer to faith than when we doubt.  Because, only then do we see clearly that this all hinges on Him, on His faithfulness and His provision.  He will go to the cross and die.  He will rise again on the third day.  And when we still don’t believe, He will come to us and give us faith.  Finally, doubt will fade and darkness will flee.

He will give Himself over in love for those whose doubt has choked out all hope.

And His love never fails.

Wishing you Easter joy like you’ve never known.  Doubt and all.

xoxo,

edie

 

 

 

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ellie April 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm

“He comes to us in His word and speaks comfort into our hearts—words that are so powerful that they actually create the faith they speak”

they create the faith they speak.

create.the.faith.they.speak.

I am just going to chew on that for awhile!

and then . . . We’re never closer to him than when we doubt.

And then. . . For those whose doubt has choked all hope.

Wow. and Amen.

xo. ellie

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2 TaxidermyWorms April 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm

This is exactly what spoke to me as well. Such a powerful message, so comforting and challenging at the same time… create the faith they speak. Incredible!

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3 classic•casual•home April 7, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Beautifully written, Happy Easter to you.

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4 sheri April 7, 2013 at 11:56 pm

you.are.amazing! I just love all of your post!!!!! xoxoxo

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5 edie April 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm

love you, friend :)

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6 lauren April 8, 2013 at 12:15 am

i arrived at this post with the words falling from my lips… Lord help me believe. i love how He answers. i so trust Him for the looming large and yet my faith fails for the daily bread. thank you for this beautiful reminder of HIS faithfullness. :)

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7 edie April 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Makes me all teary eyed, Lauren.
Yes, He answers with love, always.
xoxo

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8 Ruth April 8, 2013 at 7:01 am

Beautiful, poignant words of hope and inspiration. What a blessing to know that even in my unbelief He is there with me. He will take my hand and heart and lead me into His truth.
Hugs :)

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9 Karen April 8, 2013 at 9:15 am

A perfect post! So true. God knows what we need and always meets us there! Not always what we want but always mercifully what we need!

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10 edie April 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm

love you, miss karen!!
and yes, always what we need. :)

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11 Flower Patch Farmgirl April 8, 2013 at 9:25 am

Really lovely and hitting me where I sit.

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12 edie April 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Me too, sweetie Shannan!
Let’s late night chat soon. And by that, I mean before 9:30.
Mwahhhhh!
xoxo,
edie

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13 Leslie April 8, 2013 at 9:44 am

I just taught this the other day! (I guess our lesson calendar is slightly off!) I love how tender and compassionate he is — even as we doubt. One of my favorite verses is, “Lord, I believe — help my unbelief!” The wrestling brings us closer. Thanks for your beautiful words!

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14 edie April 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Yes, the wrestling is beautiful!! I love this text so much.
xoxo,
edie

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15 Heidi of Operation Organization April 8, 2013 at 9:48 am

thanks for the exhortation, girlie!

brings to mind a song by one of my favorite artists, nichole nordeman; ‘to know you’ :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLXQQZcUPPg

“Thomas needed
Proof that You had really risen
Undefeated
When he placed his fingers
Where the nails once broke Your skin
Did his faith finally begin?
I’ve lied if I’ve denied
The common ground I’ve shared with him”

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16 Jimmye April 8, 2013 at 10:03 am

Love you Miss Edie !!

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17 annie April 8, 2013 at 11:14 am

WOW! This is JUST what I needed this morning. EXACTLY! Thank you for this. I think I’ll print it and post it on the fridge with the whole thing highlighted in bright yellow! THANK YOU!

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18 Tricia Carter April 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm

WOW. what you need comes to you when you need it. thank you for this, this morning. His love never, ever, ever, ever, never, ever fails – and I know I fail him and knowing His love will never fail me is wonderful to be reminded of. Thank you!

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19 Jeni Brockbank April 8, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Amazingly beautiful Edie!!!! Thank you so much!!

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20 Sheila Atchley April 8, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Thank you for not being vague. You speak of *Christ*…I love that. I am so obsessed with His NAME these days! The less others speak of Jesus (I am trying so hard not to judge! :-) ) the more I want to just say that Name above all names…to speak of Him, not just “God, whoever that is to you”.

Oh, He does have a name! I dearly love you for saying the NAME of your God!

Christ be with you and yours, dear Edie. I so look forward to meeting you someday, even if I wait till heaven! :-)

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21 Teresa April 8, 2013 at 11:40 pm

You have eased my struggle with your words. Thank you!

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22 Lisa April 8, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Thank you for this beautiful post! I haven’t figured out what I believe and felt like this was almost written for me- (not ideas of reference, haha) some things to think about the doubt I’ve always carried. Keep writing!

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23 Amy April 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm

At the end of my rope in my fear and doubting many years ago, I walked into church and sat through a sermon God had prepared for me. A sermon full of grace that Jesus had poured out all over Thomas, and subsequently for us too. We are so quick to forget Thomas’ devotion, he had just a few days before said “let us go back to Jerusalem so that we may die with Him”. He so loved Him, and Jesus was so gracious in the words He spoke to Thomas after His resurrection. That sermon changed my life, and so of course, when our little guy arrived…we knew his name was to be Thomas :). Loved this Edie, thanks for writing it.

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24 Kylie April 9, 2013 at 2:24 pm

This post is just what I needed to hear and spoke directly to my heart. Thank you!

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25 {darlene} @ fieldstonehilldesign April 9, 2013 at 9:11 pm

in my times of deepest, most honest doubting, I realize that there is a chasm between me and my Lord that FAITH alone can bridge.

Ah, blessed fault of mine, that caused my Savior to win the day. Thankful for that chasm. The one that the Son of Man BRIDGED for eternity.

beautiful post. love you!

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26 Celeste April 11, 2013 at 11:18 pm

A dear friend just sent this to me: “Easter is the feast of stones that are rolled away. It is the earthquake feast. On Easter morning the women, after arriving in the garden, saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. An enormous stone over our soul’s opening, that does not let the oxygen filter in. That oppresses like frost bite, that blocks every ray of sunshine, that prevents communication with others. It is the stone of solitude, of misery, of sickness, of hatred, of desperation, of sin. We are all tombs, each with our own death seal. Let then this Easter be for us all like the rolling away of the stone, the end of nightmares, the beginning of light, the springtime of new relationships. And if each one of us, after leaving his tomb, will work hard to remove the stone from his neighbor’s tomb, then the miracle of Christ’s resurrection will finally repeat itself”. Don Tonino Bello

Thank you for your post. I’ve been showered with Easter messages this week…count it all grace.

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