Jesus is not offended by your doubts

On Friday evening, I had the opportunity to lead a youth devotion at a sleep over. Despite them having to stop a movie they were watching because of my arrival, I felt like the Friday night participation went well. We looked at a song by Nickel Creek called “Doubting Thomas.” I learned from my prior youth group NOT to assume kids know the biblical allusion to “Doubting Thomas” in the book of John. So I made sure not to repeat that mistake this time and then played the song. Here are the lyrics.
What will be left when I’ve drawn my last breath,
Besides the folks I’ve met and the folks who know me, Will I discover a soul saving love,
Or just the dirt above and below me,

I’m a doubting thomas,
I took a promise,
But I do not feel safe,
Oh me of little faith,

Sometimes I pray for a slap in the face,
Then I beg to be spared ’cause I’m a coward,
If there’s a master of death I’ll bet he’s holding his breath,
As I show the blind and tell the deaf about his power,
I’m a doubting thomas,
I can’t keep my promises,
‘Cause i don’t know what’s safe,
oh me of little faith

Can I be used to help others find truth,
When I’m scared I’ll find proof that its a lie,
Can I be lead down a trail dropping bread crumbs,
That prove I’m not ready to die,

Please give me time to decipher the signs,
Please forgive me for time that I’ve wasted,

I’m a doubting thomas,
I’ll take your promise,
Though I know nothin’s safe,
Oh me of little faith

I love this song’s humble and honest approach to the doubt struggles all of us face.
And I think youth, of all people, because they are trying to discern or maintain what they believe in the face of high school and college life, need to know what to do with their doubts. I’ve seen doubts cause youth to leave the church, or simply study in isolation. Sometimes they are just ignored, but doubts, like festering tuna fish (gosh that practical joke back-fired on us in college) find a way of making themselves known.
John the Baptist brought his doubts straight to Jesus and asked if he really was the Messiah (Matthew 11). The man with a demon-possessed son brought his doubts to Jesus as well in saying, “I believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). They both came to Jesus and he did something with those doubts. That’s how Jesus rolls. He’s not offended by our doubts, and he can use doubters to tell people about Him.
In addition, we’re to deal with our doubts in community, not isolation. Jude reminds the church to “have mercy on those who doubt.”
In chapter 1, James has some harsher words for doubting, but in context, he really seems to be talking about a different situation (he does this type of things several times; its not contradiction, he just uses the same words differently, like we all do).

For the soul who is seeking the Lord, but finds doubts are getting in the way, there is hope. Come to Jesus and surround yourself with His community. I hope that you can be encouraged by this song and the scriptures to “take your promise” even though you “know nothing’s safe.”

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