Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why Do Doubts Arise?

As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:36-49

Being human means that doubts arise even in the most faithful and confident people. When we have had a shock or trauma, when disappointment and isolation overcome us, we have doubts aplenty and question our once strong faith. We question our capacity to do things that we know we can do, and we seek only safe places and safe people in our fear.

Jesus appears to the disciples one last time and as always they are overwhelmed and frightened. Like all of us they have no way to take this in, and wonder what God is doing? They question their sanity and the reality that they are experiencing. Jesus offers them food and comfort, and tells them to be safe until they are given the strength they need. He understands what they have suffered and shelters them until they are whole again. God understands our broken hearts and our trauma, and offers us food and solace until the strength and the spirit return again. Not even the disciples closest to Jesus were expected to get right back to it after such a trauma and loss.

Today I ask God to help me be patient with the healing and restoration. May we not lose heart when we have been through great trauma and loss, but may we rest in the loving arms of God, trusting the strength and spirit to return in God's time.

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