Read John 20:19-29                                          —John 20:19 (NRSV)

Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 

At the end of the 8-mile hike to the top of Half-Dome in Yosemite National Park, we came face-to-face with the metal cables that would guide us to the top. Our whole group had hiked for hours, but when I finally saw the cables I refused to climb them, feeling it was dangerous and that I might fall 2,000 feet to my death. Watching my friends climb to the top, I started to feel embarrassed. Then, someone came behind me and said, “I’ll go with you.” Our group leader had pulled back from the group to make sure that I would not be left behind or fall off the cables. I slowly made it to the top, and we celebrated at the summit.

In today’s reading—the account of Jesus’ appearing to his disciples after the Crucifixion—Thomas stubbornly refused to believe his friends’ testimony that they had seen Jesus. In doing so, Thomas separated himself from the rest of the group. Then, without warning, Jesus showed up. 

In times of doubt, it can feel as if God is absent. But like our group leader who helped me get up the cables, God comes to us even at the height of doubt. When we are ready to turn back, God whispers, “I’ll go with you.”

Prayer—Loving God, thank you for your persistent love that brings you alongside us even in our difficult and painful moments of doubt. Amen.

Thought for the Day—Even in my times of deepest doubt, God is present.

Adam Benson (North Carolina)