...there are times when we wake up in the morning and question what we have believed. Is this whole thing really real? Are the stories really true? Am I really going to deny myself and everything the world has to offer today over this? And the doubts creep into the minds of even the most seasoned of believers. So what do we do then? What do we do when we, like Thomas, though we have every reason to believe, find ourselves hit in the face with the fact that we are basing our entire lives, and even eternity, on something that seems hilariously impossible?Read the rest.
We keep showing up.
True enough, on those days of doubt we might find ourselves sitting in the midst of God’s people, singing songs that we’re not sure we fully believe. Listening to words that seem to ring hollow in our hearts. Feeling devoid of the emotion that characterizes so many of those around us. And we might, for a time, feel as though we are the only one – on the outside looking in at a group of people with some common shared experience that at least in the moment seems to have faded in our own memory. But we are still there. Something inside us has compelled us to be with the people of Jesus.
We, too, keep showing up.
And as we do, we find that in showing up that memory is rekindled. As we sing together, our souls are lifted and our minds are put at ease. It’s not like a magic pill where you simply gather with God’s people and everything is okay again, but slowly, over time, we find that this same Jesus who we wondered whether was really dead or alive, reveals Himself to our cold hearts again, and we know that He has been there all along.
Don’t stop showing up, Christian. In fact, if you are doubting today, it’s the best time to show up again:
“After eight days His disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. he said, ‘Peace to you!’” (John 20:26).
I found myself preaching the "just keep showing up" message to myself when I am discouraged as a pastor. I feel like I don't have any answers, I don't have any energy, and I am completely in over my head. Just keep showing up and depend on the Spirit to provide in the moment, in real time, what you need to love and minister to your people and witness to unbelievers. This isn't an excuse for laziness in careful thinking but since we are all finite we are going to come to the end of our rope at some point. Just keep showing up and let the Spirit lead the way through you. You'll find that you pray more too when this is your posture.
"Just keep showing up" is a powerful way to battle the Enemy. Super simple and super hard all at the same time.
Books by Michael Kelley