Monday, February 27, 2012

Disbelief, Joy, Wonder

It seemed crazy to me when I read the words disbelief, joy, and wonder in the same sentence. Can I be disbelieving and still filled with joy and wonder?
“Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder.” Luke 24:41

There were a lot of those three responses happening in the hours after Jesus’ resurrection—all at the same time.

The women who brought spices to anoint the body of Jesus and found an empty tomb rushed back to town to tell everyone what had happened. “But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it.” (Verse 11) ~ Disbelief.

“However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look…” (Verse 12) ~ Wonder.

“We had hoped …” (These words were spoken during the conversation between the men on the road to Emmaus and Jesus.) (Verse 21) ~ Disbelief.

“Then some women … came back with an amazing report.” (Verse 22) ~ Joy, wonder.

And there are more instances of these responses in the account of the resurrection and ascension in Luke 24.

What about me? Do I identify with this confusion? Yes, I sure do.

“I believe; help my unbelief!”, the father cried out responding to Jesus’ words that “All things are possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23 and 24.  

How many times have I lifted these words from the pages of Scripture and prayed them over a certain situation, I believe; help my unbelief. Disbelief—definitely. Wonder—yes. I wouldn’t be asking for something if there wasn’t at least a bit of wonder; a bit of hope, a desired joy.

I want to believe God is able.
I should believe God is able.
Maybe if I quote this verse over and over (pray this verse over and over), I will believe.

Yet are God’s answers based on my belief? No, God’s answers are based on his character, his will, and our good. That’s where the wonder and joy manifest themselves.

As I ponder my prayers the last several years, I’m asking for BIG things: will you provide; will you heal; will you bring salvation? Do I believe God is able? Yes. And at the same time, I believe; help my unbelief. Disbelief, wonder, and anticipated joy all stirring around in the same pot. 
God, please help me to not be so hard on my brothers and sisters in the faith who have gone before me and walked similar paths to me. I am so like them! Amen.

“Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder.”
Luke 24:41, New Living Translation

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes, Lord, help all of us in our disbelief. We sometimes think we would have done better but when truth is faced, we know we wouldn't have. We are so fickle aren't we. Thanks, Sue, good reminder.