During WWI a sad letter arrived at my great-grandfather’s home in Manitoba. It was from army headquarters explaining that his son, Chris, was missing and presumed dead. Knowing that he had been training in Quebec and hospitalized with illness, his dad refused to believe the letter. In fact, he rode the train all the way to Quebec and found him in an army hospital. Sometime later Chis was sent home to a happy reunion with his family. All sadness was turned to joy.
This story, which has been handed down through the Johnson family, reminds me of the circumstances surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For a brief period of time after He rose, few seemed to believe it. When word reached the apostles from the women who had seen the empty tomb, “these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.” (Luke 24:11). But Peter and another disciple ran to the tomb and had a look for themselves. John says, “So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb entered then also, and he saw and believed.” (Jn.20:8). Some doubt persisted, but all believed when Jesus Himself appeared. One of the last holdouts was Thomas, to whom Jesus said, “Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here our hand and put it into my side; and be not unbelieving, but believing.” (Jn.20:27).
The disciples had their doubts at first, but their belief was tougher than we sometimes give them credit for. Two thousand years have gone by and millions still believe.
How about you? Be not unbelieving, but believe.
– Tim Johnson