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Why We Can Live With Hope

April 17, 2019

 

Easter is coming.

 

I’ve deliberately slowed down my schedule this week to catch up on laundry, cleaning, and life in general. 2019 has been a wild whirlwind and it shows no signs of slowing down. I’m here for it, but I also need Easter and some quality time with my Savior to keep me grounded.

 

Amidst the craziness of life, negative thoughts have sneakily crept in that bring with them a longing to isolate me and my family. Life’s realities for the stuff my kids encounter on a daily basis can stop me pretty quickly and make me want to lock the doors and never let anyone in or out. Keep all of the bad influences out and all the good in.

 

I’ve been reading through the resurrection story in the book of John and Thomas’ story continues to jump out at me. You probably know him as “Doubting Thomas” but I’ve decided that I don’t like that negativity thrown at him.

 

Thomas is just a Type A disciple that needs some facts. I can totally appreciate him.

 

When Jesus first appeared to his disciples after the resurrection, Thomas was not in the room. The disciples informed Thomas of what he missed and this is what Thomas said in John 20:25, “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.”

 

The man wanted facts. He wanted to see his Savior, with his very own eyes, under his terms.

 

A few verses later, Jesus and Thomas are finally in the same room. Jesus stands before Thomas and says, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop doubting and believe (v. 27).”

 

The Bible never says that Thomas actually reached out and touched Jesus. I’m assuming that we really don’t know. I’ll leave that detail up to the theologians to decide.

 

Here’s what we do know (v. 28-29). “Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’.”

 

Jesus, full of grace, comes back to give Thomas what he needed to believe. Jesus didn’t have to show up and do what Thomas wanted. He’s God, He doesn’t have to do anything. Just like dying for our sins, He did it anyway.

 

I am so much like Thomas wanting facts and met expectations before I truly believe that life will work out. That God will use ALL things for His glory.

 

We don’t have to wait for perfect moments or a completed checklist to grasp hope. That’s what the cross was for.

 

So, as I look towards Easter and remember Thomas’ story, this is how I long to live as I face a world that can sometimes seem to be coming after my children.

 

When my child doesn’t understand why boys and girls at school are sometimes mean to them, I still believe that we have hope.

 

When my child needs just one really good, Jesus-loving friend, I still believe that we have hope.

 

When my child may not understand why their past happened, I still believe that we have hope.

 

When I can’t look one of my children in the eyes to tell them that I love them because all of the adoption paperwork is not compete, I still believe that we have hope.

 

I may never be able to make sense of hard things or answer all of my kids' questions, but I can point them to hope. Hope was sent to us in the form of a baby that grew into a man who died on the cross for every single one of us.

 

As I look towards Easter and release my fears to my beliefs, all I can think is this:

 

If I long for these things for my kids, how much more does my Heavenly Father want them?

 

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13

 

Jesus is coming. We have hope.

 

 

 

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