Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.  And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.   -Matthew 28:16-17

I slept alone last night.  Peacefully, quietly alone.  My doctor ordered a sleep study for me so, for a couple thousand dollars, I had a very restful night with a bunch of electrodes attached to my head.

One of the last things I remember before drifting off was the fact that the room was very dark, an inky black darkness like being immersed in swamp water.  This was not a darkness that your eyes could get used to; no, I was trapped in a pool of nothingness with no up or down, and no point of reference to tell me where I was.  A few times I woke up utterly lost.

Darkness is a great metaphor to illustrate lostness.  From the time we are small we fear what we do not know, what lurks, or could be lurking, under the cover of darkness.  Evil is expected to strike in the darkness.  How else can we explain the extra outrage we experience when a crime is committed “in broad daylight”?

Truth be told, I wasn’t really afraid of the darkness last night because I knew that Fred was doing his job well.  He had a camera and was watching me (yeah, it could have creeped me out, but Fred seemed a pretty decent fellow) and if I had a question, Fred was quick to respond.

Let me tell you about the darkness that I do fear.  Picture yourself running in a marathon.  You’ve run 23, 24 miles or so, and you begin to notice other runners by the road, exhausted, giving up.  Even at the 26 mile marker you find a man sitting by the roadside, head in hands, weeping.  He’s 365 yards from the finish line and he simply cannot make it any farther.

These ran the race in vain.  It was all for nothing.

It is said that faith and fear are at opposite ends of a continuum.  In the text quoted, we have no clear perspective on the doubting.  We only know that some of the disciples “doubted”.  Were they of the 11 disciples?  The larger group of disciples?  Did their doubt persist?  I mean, seriously, these people saw Jesus after His resurrection and still doubted…something.  How was that possible?

I think, brothers, that it simply is God’s way of reminding us that we are not perfect.  We may charge forward in faith, thinking we are doing God a favor by claiming great things for Him, but no matter how hard we try to deny it, our faith is not 100% perfect.

If it was impossible to fail to finish the race, there would be no glory in crossing the line.

Soli Deo Gloria