“Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’ A week later His disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.’” John 20:24-27
In this life, we will always get the opportunity to meet a “Thomas”; A person that feels like, unless they see someone who has been through what they’ve been through, they won’t believe. They won’t believe that things will get better, they won’t believe that everything will work out, they won’t believe that Christ is able to do the unthinkable in their lives. We must also be careful, because there may even be times when we, ourselves, won’t believe.
Because of this, hardships have to happen. Things in our lives have to go wrong, so when we encounter others facing battles and trials of their own, we have the scars to relate. But not only do we have the scars, but we have the victory to help them see the light at the end of the tunnel. When we overcome battles in our lives, we become the proof for people, just like the holes in Jesus’ hands were proof for Thomas.
Our hardships are the holes in Christ’s hands and feet. Our issues are His pierced side. And the fact that we are still standing, living and breathing, is Christ living in the earth. What He went through on the cross did not keep Him in the grave. What we have gone through will not keep us down, depressed or defeated. We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus, and there are so many people who need to hear what we’ve gone through and have overcome. Our testimonies are proof that not only is Christ real, but He works. Trusting and believing in Him works. Living for Him works. Surrendering to Him works. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.
Where we are and what we are going through may not make sense today, but one day it will. I have stories and experiences, that at the time they were happening to me, I could not see a way out or a silver lining. Looking back on them now, I am glad they happened. It didn’t feel good when it happened, but now my life is able to be on display for others that have similar experiences and encounters that I’ve had. I get the chance to show how good Christ is, how He never left my side, and how I am still standing tall. Life tries to bury us, but testimonies can open the door for us to rise up and walk out.
The process doesn’t always make sense. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Jesus to go to the cross, knowing the excruciating pain He would experience, but He did it anyway, looking to the victory ahead of Him. Because of the cross, the veil was torn, and we are now able to go before God and experience a personal relationship with Him. We get to know our Creator and one day get to be with Him for all of eternity. It doesn’t get any better than that. I am so grateful for what He was willing to go through for us when He didn’t have to; He chose to endure.
The pain has a purpose. The issues have a purpose. The sacrifice has a purpose. The loneliness has a purpose. The sorrow has a purpose. The loss has a purpose! I can say this not only because I believe it, but because of what I’ve been through and how my own holes have shown Christ. It’s not easy walking through the valley times, but it’s worth it and He never leaves our side for a minute.
Don’t give up, cling to Christ, and keep moving forward. It will produce so much more than you expect it to in the end.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28