and try to love the questions themselves.”
Rainer Maria Rilke (poet)
Questions? Whys? Why does this happen to me? We do not always know the answers to our ‘whys.” Many sages and philosophers throughout history have found their greatest source of strength in…the questions.
In the Scriptures, after the Resurrection of Jesus, we read about Thomas, who unfortunately has been nicknamed--Doubting Thomas. The Bible says, in John 20:24-25:
Thomas 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.”
Thomas missed the first meeting with Jesus and the disciples, so he needed evidence for believing that Jesus rose from the dead. In other words, just like us, he had questions. Like many of the characters in the Bible, he was a portrait of us all!
Some folks believe that questioning is a lack of faith, but that is not so. Unknowingly, some who tell others to ‘not doubt or question’ probably acquired their strongest beliefs and values through their questions. Questioning is a life-long process and it’s only through the questions that we will discover satisfaction in life.
Although the concept of questioning appears frustrating at times, the process teaches us that these very thoughts may be the source of motivation to find the answers.
Returning to the Scriptures, Jesus appeared to Thomas when he was with the disciples again. The Lord gave him evidence for his faith when he said, “Put your finger here Thomas; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:27-28, NIV).
Church tradition tells us that Thomas eventually traveled to India to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, there is a famed church in India named after Thomas, which many believe the disciple came to share God’s love for all people.
That doesn’t sound like a doubter to me, but a real believer. This all came by way of honest doubts, which God can turn into real faith!
Therefore, learn to love the questions!