Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dealing with the Thomas (John 20:25) in ourselves with a story about Niels Bohr, a Nobel-prize-winning physicist and his horseshoe.

 SCRIPTURE: John 20:25 (TM)
The other disciples told him (Thomas), "We saw the Master." But he said, "Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won't believe it."

An American scientist once visited the offices of the great Nobel-prize-winning physicist, Niels Bohr, in Copenhagen. He was amazed to find that over Bohr's desk was a horseshoe, securely mailed to the wall, with the open end up in the approved manner (so it would catch the good luck and not let it spill out). The American said with a nervous laugh, "Surely you don't believe the horseshoe will bring you good luck, do you, Professor Bohr?  After all, as a scientist -- " Bohr chuckled, "I believe no such thing, my good friend. Not at all. I am scarcely likely to believe in such foolish nonsense. However, I am told that a horseshoe will bring you good luck whether you believe in it or not." 

It’s kind of crazy what we believe in. A horseshoe, rabbit’s foot, four-leaf clover, found pennies facing up, certain numbers, touching the head of a baby, kissing a particular Irish stone, particular sayings when a pole causes us to break our handhold, and this particular list can go on and on and on. We believe in some strange things.

Then why do we question so quickly the things of God, about God, from God? There are levels of belief and faith that simply causes us pause. We wonder, “Really?” shake our head and walk away. Could we be missing an extra blessing that comes from trusting God?

Some respond with the naive statement: “Well, you just have to believe” as in having a blind faith. Well, is there such a thing as “blind faith”? … probably not. We can have absolute trust in God as my favorite acrostic for faith illustrates: Forsaking All I Trust Him.

Now I like Thomas and am not particularly fond of the “doubting” handle placed upon him. From my particular perspective he was simply being honest with himself and those within his circle of friends. Can we be as honest with our own struggles while still trusting God for the outcome? Must we buy into the “heavenly reward system” in order to trust or believe? I would hope not.

Christ’s resurrection was still a reality if Thomas believed it or not. The sad note is that the power of the resurrection was not Thomas’ until he believed. So, go ahead and nail up your horseshoe as the noted scientist did. It really doesn’t matter now does it, but for the resurrection that’s an entirely another matter.

Lord, we believe help thou our unbelief. It is a real struggle sometimes. We misplace our belief system on to things that really doesn’t matter. Help thou our unbelief. 

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