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Does He Notice?

by | Apr 17, 2023 | Doubt, God's Love

“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, … Jesus came and stood among them … Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. … Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in His hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into His side, I will never believe.’ Eight days later, His disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.’ Thomas answered Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”

(John 20:19-20, 24-29)

Does God notice when I’m having trouble?

I think a lot of us wonder that, especially if we belong to a church where everyone else seems to have their life going smoothly. Here we are, struggling with doubt or temptation or just overwhelmed with the trouble in our lives, and we wonder: Is God paying attention? Does He care that I’m struggling?

The story of Thomas says that He does.

Think about it. Thomas is gone when Jesus comes to His disciples and shows that He is alive again. We don’t know why—maybe Thomas is buying groceries, or using the outhouse, or running errands for the group. But he’s not there. And he misses Jesus’ visit.

When he gets back, his friends are all happy and celebrating. Thomas is still grieving—and now he’s confused and upset, on top of that. Have his friends gone crazy? Are they pulling some kind of terrible practical joke? And what if it is really true—why would Jesus leave Thomas out of something so important? Does it mean Jesus doesn’t really care about Thomas, after all?

In so many ways, Thomas is in trouble. And Jesus knows it!

So Jesus makes it his first priority to take care of Thomas on His next visit. It’s the first thing He does after saying hello. He repeats Thomas’s own words back to him—yes, Jesus was definitely paying attention, even when Thomas couldn’t see Him!—and He tells him to go ahead and test Jesus’ reality just the way he said he would, by sticking his fingers in the wounds. If Thomas really needs that kind of proof, Jesus is up for it!

Yes, Jesus noticed Thomas. And He notices when we are in trouble, too. You matter to Him, even if you’re the only one in the whole group who has a problem. You have His attention, and you will have His care as well. The same Jesus who laid down His life to rescue you and bring you into God’s family—He’s not going to overlook you in your need now.

We Pray: Dear Lord, see what I’m struggling with and help me! Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on April 13, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights

Reflection Questions:

1. Do people get overlooked in your church?

2. Tell about a time when you were struggling and God made it clear that He saw you and would help you.

3. Is there someone you know who is struggling right now? How can you help that person?