“Suppose we have only dreamed or made up all these things, The trees, the ground, the sun, the moon, and even Aslan himself? Suppose we have. Then all I can say is the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones! I am on Aslan’s side, Even if there is no Aslan to lead it. I will live as much like a Narnian as possible, even if there is no Narnia,”
~ C.S. Lewis
Perhaps what man fears most is the potential of being wrong. We fear misplaced trust, failure, dishonesty. So often we are hurt and allow the scars of past pains to define our present circumstances, In the Bible, the disciple of Jesus known as Thomas is given the title, “Doubting Thomas,” because of his disbelief in the life of Jesus after the cross. His legacy is defined by his lack of faith. And yet, do I not do the same on a daily basis? Thomas had dedicated his dreams hope and life to Jesus, and His ministry. He had placed all of his eggs in one basket so to speak, and at the cross, he felt the basket of his life drop. Perhaps he felt that God had let him down, forgotten him, abandoned him, and he couldn’t bring his weary soul to dare to hope again. He failed to muster the courage in his broken heart to believe in the same thang that had left His spirit shattered. He had too much scar tissue to work through. Is that not the same with us? Perhaps as you sit here today, you feel abandoned by God, or you were disappointed because God didn’t do what you wanted in your life. Or perhaps you have been hurt in a church… Like Thomas, your heart is quaking with questions, pleading for promise, but you are refusing to dare to dream. Your hope, hidden in the folds of doubt. If you are reading this today, praying for a promise, know this; There is a God who spoke light into the darkness, breathed life into your soul, and wove you together in your mother's womb. There is a God who died of a broken heart, just so that yours could be healed. There is a God who confined Himself to the brokenness of humanity, simply to sympathize with your struggles. There is a God who defied death to bring you life, lasting life. And there is a God, standing before you today like he did with Thomas so many years ago, reviving your hope, rebreathing life into your soul, showing you your love story written in His scars. He is meeting you in your valley, in your shadow of death, in your heart torn tragedy, and he is whispering the promise of hope into your weary spirit, encouraging you to run your hands over the remnant of the cross, becoming filled with its beauty, and life in death. Just as he did with Thomas. Thomas was scared to hope, frightened that he had only dreamt the truth of the Messiah, and he had seen the Christ! We do not hold such a blessing! If you are grappling with truth, struck into a silent fear that things sacred are merely dreamt up in the minds of the weak, hold tightly to this truth. Things derived in delusion do not make the soul shiver in anticipation of the God of hope. The very light of heaven that ignites in the soul of the true believer and shine brightly through the purity in their eyes in not the result of artificial enlightenment.
Today I hope you will join me in trembling before the ludicrous truth of a God loving His people purely and passionately enough to die for them brutally, keeping for eternity the scars, simply to give them hope. Remember as you live out today, Jesus thinks you’re worth dying and living again for. His struggles for your encouragement, His ministry for your example, His death for your life, and His life for your hope. As one of my favorite Authors, Ben Courson said, “He hugged His cross so that we could live in His embrace.”
So be encouraged, live in the hug of the Father, and SHINE ON!