Life was absolutely perfect, bigger and better than anything I could ever imagine. Nothing could stop us; we overcame every challenge, person and obstacle that got in our way. Everything we hoped for became a reality. Our success was so big that thousands upon thousands heard of what we accomplished; it was if every person and thing we touched resulted in a miracle. But now……it is all gone. Every dream, passion, desire, accomplishment and hope has been ripped away.

On Thursday night one of our best friends decided to betray us. I trusted him like a brother, but what we had was not good enough for him. He needed more power and more money, so he went to the authorities who were jealous of our success and turned us in. Late that night a large group of officers came to arrest the one who started our group. This was my role model, the man who taught us everything; how to live a life bigger than we can image, how to heal the sick, raise the dead, be compassionate to all, and how to win every battle. Now he is gone, and there is even talk they want to kill him. This was supposed to be the Savior, the great teacher, the one who would save us all. But how can we be saved now?

After the officers took him we ran off in our own direction last night. We were scared, what else could we do? They will probably try to kill us as well. I am lost, I have no clue were to go. I think Peter and John went back to Him, but what can they do against the mob who took Him away?

Before I met the teacher I was a laborer, working hard days and long hours. It was a tough lifestyle, but life in general was good. I had a wonderful family and there was always food on the table. I was comfortable. But then I met the Teacher. He asked me to leave everything to follow the Christ.

But how is that possible? How do I just leave the job I worked so hard for, leave those whom I loved so dearly, and leave the life I grew accustomed to, simply to enter a new life completed guided by faith in the word of the Lord? Sounds crazy doesn’t it? But there was something about Him, the authority in which He spoke, the miracles He produced, and the compassion He had for all. I lived a comfortable life, but He wanted to stretch me to the limits. I was very accomplished, but He said I did not come close to reaching my potential. I thought I was prosperous, but He said I would see prosperity in this life greater than anything I could ever think of. So after much prayer, I went against human wisdom and followed my soul…..to leave the life of the world behind and follow Him. When I did, lifestyle He promised came to be just as He said.

But now He is gone. Why can’t we just go back to earlier in the week when life was perfect and easy? Why can’t we go back to when I was comfortable, confident, and accomplished? The Teacher always talked about faith, not faith in a complex set of rules, but a simple faith. A Faith in believing what He said would come to pass. A faith that looked beyond our current circumstances and believed full heartedly in the promise. He promised He would return in 3 days; but He is dead now, how can this be? Do I believe in what my eyes see; that it is over, this challenge is too big, that I am defeated, that all of our hard work was for nothing, that everything is gone? Or do I believe in His promise, that He will return in 3 days and triumph over death, guide us in every situation bringing us to a life far beyond what we thought was possible? I gave up everything for Him, but where is He?

It is now Sunday, and the women came back from the tomb where He was buried. They are creating some sort of ruckus saying the tomb was empty and they met an “Angel”. Did you see the size of the bolder they pleased in front of the tomb? That alone is enough not to believe their story…..and now they talk about angels? Right now I need to think of myself. I need to worry about how I can survive, what am I going to do for work, and am I even able to go back to that lifestyle I had before.

I was out all day, with everything going on I just needed to be alone, go for a walk, and take care of my affairs. As I returned to the group, all I wanted to do was go to sleep as I was not in the mood to talk to anyone. But as I returned the house was filled loud noise and commotion. The other disciples said they saw Him, that He was alive! At first this news was too good to be true, the promise is real. But….then….I started to talk sense into myself. I know what I saw, I know the circumstances in front of me, I know what I am feeling. How am I supposed to go against everything I see in the physical and believe what they said? Until I put my hands in His wounds, I will not believe.

It is now morning; it was another night with little sleep. There is too much on my mind. When will this pain and anxiety end? When will things go back to normal? We are at the beach eating breakfast, hopefully a little food will make me feel better. I see a man walking in the distance, the poor fellow was probably hungry so we offered Him some food. This man is very articulate, knowledgeable, compassionate. And when I look at his eyes…..those EYES!

No it couldn’t be, could it? Is that…… Then the man stood up, he looked directly at me. He reached out His hands and said, ““Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

“My Lord and my God!” It was Him, it was the Teacher. He is alive, He has risen, the promise true, it truly is. On this day I believed. I always believed in the physical Christ, but now I believe in the Spirit of Christ; which is far more powerful and abundant. Sadly, my belief came by sight, not faith; and it is faith that pleases God. However, this day changed me. Jesus is so loving that He did not abandon me because of my lack of faith, instead He did what He needed to do so that I would have faith.

Now, I do not let my circumstances alter my hope. When challenges come my way I remember that day on the beach, that day when everything was dark but out of nowhere Jesus appeared true to His word. Today I do not walk by sight, but by faith. And in doing so I have accomplished far greater than ever imagined.

I needed to see the physical Jesus to believe, but I have a vision that billions on this earth will remember this day, look beyond their circumstances, and believe through faith in the all mighty God. I have a vision that when challenges face the faithful, they will hold true to the promises of scripture and persevere. I have a vision that when all hope is lost and when one feels they do not have the strength to last one more day that they would simply ask God for guidance and believe the Spirit of Christ that lives within them will give them the answers and power to overcome their crosses in victory. I have a vision that the joy of the Lord will swipe the earth as people overcome their hardships in the name of Jesus. I write this, so you too may believe with faith in the Risen Christ.

Respectfully,

Doubting Thomas, who now believes