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I couldn’t see meteors in the pre-dawn sky: ‘Doubting Thomas’ and faith in our unseen Father

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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I couldn't see meteors in the pre-dawn sky: 'Doubting Thomas' and faith in our unseen Father
The starry sky shines over the Baltic Sea on April 22, 2020. Mostly starry skies currently allow a clear view of the shooting stars of the Lyrids.

I went outside early this morning to watch the Lyrid meteor shower. However, clouds and light pollution kept me from seeing what skywatchers across the Northern Hemisphere saw and photographed.

Did my failure to see any streaking meteors mean that they were not there? Am I to discount the experiences of others who claimed to see what I did not?

‘Doubting Thomas’

The apostle Thomas will forever bear the first name “Doubting” because he wanted to experience for himself what others claimed to have experienced. They met the risen Christ, but he was absent from their gathering and told them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe” (John 20:25).

Did Jesus reject his disciple for his apparent lack of faith? The opposite occurred, in fact: eight days later, Jesus appeared again before them and said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe” (v. 27). Thomas responded, “My Lord and my God!” (v. 28).

This encounter is not recorded in Scripture for Thomas’s sake, but for ours. He would never forget what happened. John was inspired to record Thomas’s experience so it can be ours.

By quoting the very objections Thomas raised earlier, Jesus showed that he knew his questions and ours. By meeting Thomas at the point of his doubts, our Lord showed that he will meet us at the point of ours.

Faith in our unseen Father

Your greatest questions and problems today likely have to do with the unprecedented pandemic we are enduring. But one of the tragedies of this tragedy is that it can mask other tragedies in our world.

For example, the World Health Organization is warning that malaria deaths in Africa could double amid the pandemic if countries focus their attention and resources on the coronavirus without continuing to fight the mosquito-borne disease as well. During Africa’s Ebola outbreak, for instance, more people died from malaria than from Ebola.

If you’re dealing with a problem other people don’t seem to recognize, know that God knows what they do not. He saw the meteors I could not see this morning. He heard Thomas’s specific questions and met him at the point of his doubts.

Jesus assured us, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8). We ask him to meet our needs, not to inform him of our problems but to position ourselves to receive what his grace intends to give.

You may not see the meteors in the sky, but their Creator is looking at you right now.