Lenten Devotion Day 40

Stop Doubting!

Doubting Thomas

Have you ever had someone tell you something so incredible that you just couldn’t believe what they were saying? Was that someone ever one of your children? Don’t feel bad. You’re in good company.

Look at the disciples! Here was a group of men that gave up their careers, their businesses, left their families to follow a man with a message. Sure, it was a message these men believed in but they walked away from their lives to enter a life that had no guarantees. For 3 years, they traveled, prayed, preached, healed, learned, and more. Then, the man they loved as their leader was arrested, tried and put to death. This was NOT how it was supposed to happen.

These men had heard the stories for years about the coming Messiah. All of them believed the Messiah would be a warrior like David, a king that would fight to reclaim their land. Jesus said all the right things. Didn’t He talk about the coming Kingdom over and over again?

Now He was dead and the cause He led was about to die along with Him. These men mourned, not just the loss of their friend but the loss of their faith in Jesus and God. How could this have happened?

Then something incredible happened. Mary Magdalene showed up and told the disciples she and the other women had seen Jesus! He was alive! Rejoice! Oh, wait! They didn’t believe her! Even though she had seen Him with her own eyes, they refused to believe her.

Then Jesus showed up. Well, they believed then. Except Thomas who wasn’t there when Jesus showed up the first time. The others told Thomas what they had ALL seen but he refused to believe it. Finally Thomas got to see for himself. Jesus came back to that upper room and appeared to the disciples, including Thomas. Then Thomas believed. Sure, easy to believe when the truth is standing right in front of you! Not so easy when you just have to take someone’s word for it.

There was an episode of the Andy Griffith Show (it’s on television now!)  Andy’s son, Opie keeps talking about a man he met in the woods. This man walks in the trees. He shines like silver. He makes smoke come out his ears. He has 10 hands. Of course, Andy thinks it’s just Opie’s imaginary friend. Then Opie shows Andy a tool this man gave him. Andy thinks Opie took the tool from someone. Andy insists Opie tell him the truth. Opie swears he IS telling the truth. Andy feels he must punish Opie and Andy is very upset about the entire situation. He just doesn’t know what to think.

Andy goes for a walk to think and, there in the woods, he meets the man, a lineman who works up in the trees. He wears a helmet that shines like silver and has a tool belt filled with tools that he calls his 10 hands. Oh, and he can make smoke come out his ears. As farfetched as Opie’s story seemed to an adult, it was the truth, the absolute truth.

There is nothing more frustrating for a child than having an adult, especially a parent, not believe them when they tell the truth. How horrible when the child needs to tell an adult something terrible.

Thomas couldn’t believe the story the other men told him, even though they all agreed. Thomas couldn’t accept it until the evidence was presented to him, in the flesh so to speak! It is a great kindness to believe a child when they tell you something. Take time to listen.

Discussion Questions

1. Have you ever told the truth about something only to have someone not believe you?

2. How did this make you feel?

3. Have you ever not believed something one of your kids told you? Why didn’t you believe it?

4. If it turned out your child was telling you the truth, what did you do?

5. Has another child ever told one of your kids a story that seemed unbelievable? Was it the truth? What did they do?

6. Take time to talk about truth and doubt. Sometimes, we have to take a story on faith until we can confirm what is being said. Avoid overreacting one direction or the other.

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