Holey Signs and Doors

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Have you ever been somewhere (e.g., waiting room, grocery store register line, happy hour, farmer's market) and you meet someone who is telling you waaaay more information than you expected from a complete stranger?! This happened to me recently....

This woman was telling me how she has had a super hectic couple of weeks because her husband (now they're separated) held a gun to her head while their toddler son slept in the next room, and she said "that's it, I'm gone!". She said "I said to God at that moment, 'Lord, if this is the path that You have me on, You need to show me some signs and open some doors for me to get out of this situation.' And within 12 hours, I had a car, and a place at a local shelter to go to!" I obviously gasped at the scene of the abuse and praised God with her for what He had opened up for her. But it got me thinking...how many times have I asked God to give me a sign or open some huge door to show me the way?

We heard about Thomas on Sunday. Good ol' Thomas, disciple of Jesus who for whatever reason, was absent one day when everyone else was together. Someone should have told him not to play hooky that day!! When he heard what went on at the get-together, he thought for sure someone was pulling his leg, and for that completely human reaction, he has forever been branded "Doubting Thomas" and his name carries with it the somewhat negative overtone of someone who doesn't have enough faith (based on how the story has always been presented to me when I was growing up).

I think my perspective of all-things Scriptural has been enhanced and/or altered (depending on the day, haha!), because this story and our pastor's homily really struck me this year. Our pastor noted that it is kind of unfair for us to look upon Thomas like he had soooooo little faith, because all he was asking for was a sign that his Lord had been risen. Who among us hasn't asked for a sign from our Risen Lord? The woman I met recently begged God to give her a sign and open some doors for her, and luckily for her, His will included just such an intervention at this time in her life! I know I have asked for so many signs along this IF road that, if my "doubting" were to color my reputation for the rest of eternity, I would be seriously in trouble!!

Of course (in the Bible story), once Thomas is in the right place at the right time, Jesus again shows up and presents His wounded hands and holey side to Thomas, and I think poor Thomas must have felt a little meek. Can you imagine the other disciples around him? "Told you so, dude!!" Jesus goes on to say "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe." GULP.

Our pastor also pointed out that, just as the proof that Thomas wanted was not pretty or beautiful, the proof that God might present to us may not be pretty or beautiful either. We may ask God to give us a sign, open some doors, and show us what path we should take to parenthood, but it may include hardships and painful things. Maybe even though we think it will be easier if God shows us a sign or opens a door, it would be better for us to just believe that He IS risen, and He DOES love us more than we know, and that we have only to trust in HIM to turn our night into day.

I know I will still ask for and look for signs and open doors, especially about when we will conceive and how long it will be until that happens. I like to think I have a little bit of both worlds. I believe in God's goodness without any physical burning bush, but as a wobbly human being, I long to see God flinging open the door to motherhood or sending me a mother duck and 5 little gooslings toddling along my road the morning before I test and get a BFP! I totally "get" how Thomas felt, and I'm thankful that Jesus was so gracious to him in the end, giving the rest of us the example that even though it is great and very admirable to believe without seeing, it is okay to have some doubts along the way and need some signs to bolster our faith.


Grace in my Heart said...

Beautiful insight! I am always intrigued with the story of Thomas. I think I may look into the story for some type of "sign" because we named the baby we were trying to adopt Thomas. Even though the adoption didn't work out, it was almost like God was telling my husband and I not to doubt His plan for us! I do really wish I received more "signs" about what is going to happen in our future though! But, you are right, He does love us more than we know and I know that is what truly keeps us all going! :)

Becky said...

I am so with you, I often think about how it would be easier if I could just know. But then I wonder if maybe it would be too much for me to handle if I knew right now. I think you are right when you said it is better to believe and trust in Him. If He told us everything, we wouldn't have to trust that His plan truly is better than our own plan.

Praying for Hope said...

Doubting or not, more signs - more obvious signs - would be nice. I've come to the conclusion that I'm human, and it's part of being human to doubt. It's also part of being human to try to wholeheartedly believe and trust in spite of this. I think it's incredible that we don't give up when you think of all the disappointments we experience.

the misfit said...

You have an amazing spiritual...precision? Because I think you've captured it exactly.