In which an unlikely hero arises…

by Craig on December 8, 2010

Did you ever notice how some people learn how to ice skate easily — and some never do. Some ankles are just meant to buckle when placed on the ice, yet some people just take off and fly with abandon. Me, I still ice skate in a straight line only, and the surest way to stop is still a collision with something else. To some it comes easy, to some it comes hard.

Some people just believe with the simple and beautiful faith of a child. I was not one of them.

It was late at night. I was a new Christian, maybe my first year.

I kneeled in prayer. I begged hard for faith. I wanted so much to believe. But I just couldn’t.  I asked God repeatedly, tears like twin rivers streaming down my face to the floor. The initial words were quiet, then it rose in crescendo, first angry, then  jealously furious:

“Why do I have to  scratch and claw…

and struggle for every single ounce of my faith…

when it comes so easy to all of the others?!”

Burning Anger at God.

I remember, finally asking in that prayer for the faith of an apostle.

My mom used to say, “Be careful what you ask for.”

I apparently was granted the faith of an apostle — I was granted the faith of Thomas.

Thomas, the apostle who had to fight and struggle for every bit of his faith. Of all the apostles I think Thomas is misunderstood the most.  For two thousand years his name has been linked with unbelief and doubt.

Not fair.

Thomas grabs the spotlight in only three places in the Bible.

Here’s the first.

Our Lord had just fled from Jerusalem where the Jewish leaders attempted to stone him. But it wasn’t time yet. Our Lord couldn’t die like this. It all had to happen exactly as it unfolded in his Passion. The leaders began, an angry mob must have joined them, They picked up the stones to kill Jesus. He stunned them momentarily with his words, but then…

“… they tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power. He went back across the Jordan.” (JN 10:39,40)

It all sounds so orderly doesn’t it? They pick up stones, he speaks, they listen, they attempt arrest, he escapes, he went back across the Jordan. But you know it couldn’t have been so easy.

I remember this about Jewish leaders leading angry mobs. I remember them convincing the masses to shout “Crucify!” Passions ran as deep then as they do now in the Middle East. The commotion would ensue. Like it did with Stephen.(Acts 6:8 – 8:1)

The apostles? Well, how brave were they when Jesus was arrested just before his Crucifixion.

They must have run like scared kittens.

The crowd would have surrounded Our Lord. They would have pressed in. He would have been alone against so many. Hands grabbing, pushing, shoving, chaos. two arms against a hundred, And then he passed through. Impossible, but not. It wasn’t time.

Then Lazarus died in Bethany – a mile and a half from this murder attempt. The disciples tried to squirm out of going.

“Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and you want to go back there?” (JN 11:8)

Again, not so simple I bet. Notice they said  the “Jews were just trying to stone you.” Not them, they were the kittens who ran away. They wanted no part of this. They must have begged, pleaded, grabbed him as vehemently as the crowd that tried to stone him. He was undeterred, they must have become more urgent with their arguments.

And then the voice of one man

stopped.

it.

all.

“So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go to die with him.”

(JN 11:16)

The argument was ended.

If Jesus would face death Thomas would face death. Like the firefighters who rushed into the Towers on September 11th, Thomas was ready to go where his duty led hm. The others – not so.

And this is the “doubter”?

No this is my hero.

There are two more mentions of my hero in the Bible. I can’t wait to share them with you.

Anon.

God Bless.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie December 8, 2010 at 1:38 am

Craig . . .I come here and hold my breath as I read. God knew what He was doing when He gave you these blogs as a plan. I completely forgot that about Thomas. I’m stunned. Thank you for leading me closer to Him. I love getting to see things deeper and clearer! :)

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Anonymuss December 8, 2010 at 1:49 am

I never noticed this about Thomas. This is amazing to me and causes me to pause and think of the times I have a choice to shrink back or go forward. This puts a whole new face on Thomas! Thank you for pointing this out, Craig!

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Craig December 8, 2010 at 9:23 am

Deb, you are blessing. Thomas is my hero – it only gets better. Then a little more on doubt – and we move on. Thank you deb. Merry Christmas

Reply

Craig December 8, 2010 at 9:25 am

A.

You too are a blessing. Nobody noticed this about Thomas – and like I said to Deb – it only gets better. Merry Christmas A.

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