JOHN | Showing Up Messy: Jesus Gets Us { DAY TWENTY }

READ: JOHN TWENTY

Then he 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.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” {John 20: 27-29 ESV}

Reading through this passage in John, I find myself in two places where it’s hard to pick a side. I wonder if you feel the same way?

Often we can identify with the skeptic needing hard evidence and yet we find ourselves the needy ones clinging to the slightest hope that Jesus can be found in our circumstances.

I cannot say I belong to team Mary Magdalene or team Doubting Thomas because at certain times in my life I am both.

I am the girl who wants to trace the scars and see the wounded truth. (Vs. 27)

I am the girl who clings to her Savior and doesn’t want to let go. (Vs. 17)

I am the girl weeping looking for traces of the One she loves when it looks like all is lost. (Vs. 11)

When we find Mary Magdalene in this passage she is at the tomb, early while it was still dark, and a frantic mess. Mary knew the stone was out of place and that her Jesus was not there. The disciples rushed into to witness the scene and then they went home. But, Mary was still there waiting.

When Jesus appears to her, he quiets the fears inside of her. I’ve often wondered why Jesus appeared to her first, but in my heart, I know the truth. It was because she was there.

Mary was a mess, but she was still there.

Thomas was a skeptic, but he was still there.

Sometimes I feel like Thomas was the fortunate one to trace the scars on Jesus that pointed to our redemption and hope. We could fault Thomas, but we are just like him. Thomas wanted to see so he could believe and because received the proof his heart longed for, he could believe without traces of doubt entering his head in the future. Tracing those scars would be his anchor in the days and years to follow.

Both of these believers and truth-seekers showed up in their fear and uncertainty, and Jesus met with them both in such beautifully, personal ways just like he does with us.

While we can’t trace nail-pierced hands or see an empty tomb and folded grave clothes, we are still showing up messy, full of faith, and longing for the doubts we have in the dark to diminish. There are specific blessings with our name on them for those of us who believe in Jesus although our eyes haven’t seen him face-to-face. The peace we have is our proof and his Holy Word is our anchor, all we have to do is keep showing up.

 

Reflect:

  • Do you feel messy today and filled with doubt? You are not alone or misunderstood. Take heart, you are in the perfect place to find Jesus in broken places.
  • Are you ready to stop being so hard on yourself and receive the blessings God has for you?
  • Do you have an area in your life where you are looking for an answer and needing to know God is with you? He will never leave or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

Prayer:

Lord, I praise you because you are with me always. I cling to you because you will never leave or forsake me. Please help me when I find myself doubting your faithfulness. I trust that you are with me even when I can’t feel it. I will choose to have faith that you are working in the unseen, give me spiritual eyes to look past my circumstances. Help me to keep showing up even when I am messy and feel like I have very little to offer.  In Jesus Name,  Amen

 

Jennifer Watson
Jennifer Watson
Jennifer Watson is a writer, youth minister, pastor’s wife, mother of two, and typical lipstick loving Southern girl. Jennifer has been in ministry for seventeen years and loves to speak at women’s retreats and special events. She likes her tea hot and sweet with lots of sugar and cream.

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