The doubter. Because probably every once else who enters the gates has been there. Thomas isn’t running solo. We all struggle with having heart eyes. Looking only at what we physically see – in the world, in our circumstance. When the heart is just waiting to be our compass. But the gates will open for you, if you only believe ONCE. In His name for your soul. All questions are not answered then. We will still have them. But we also have Him. And when you think you cannot go forward without some answers, He will hold you…until you meet Him face to face.
The cynic. It’s okay. The world is hard. And full of bad news. He knows that. He knows how you see your glass. He’s not mad at you for struggling, carrying this heavy way of thinking. He just wants more for you. What we think does not change who HE IS. He is always working around us. Not always visibly, but always absolutely. He is the light breaking through the darkness. And when you go Home to His presence, the brightness will stun you. So turn the lights on today to get ready.
The murderer. You just might be first in line to talk to Moses. And David. And a host of others forgiven. For this and every other sin. Because even though we categorize sin and choose which ones are greater, He doesn’t. His word teaches that a man who has committed any sin is guilty of all. And no matter the sin, it only separates us from Him as long as we allow it. From the moment of confession, He forgives.
The thinker. He doesn’t ask us to check our minds at the belief door. He made us this way. To use our minds and come to a joyful understanding of Him. C.S. Lewis thought his way into belief. It can happen. Believers are not naïve. We’ve wrestled and read and asked and prayed and considered. We can use big words and talk theology. But one time, and for many of us so many times since, our heart burned within us. So we are still thinking. And wrestling with pieces of our faith. Because He is a beautiful mystery. But we are loved. And that changes everything about the way we think.
The hurting. When hurts happen, they can blind us. To everything true and right. We respond differently. We even make choices we thought we might never make. And I meet people so often who think their hurts or the actions that followed disqualify them. Or the fog is just too heavy to see God. The fear of shame or guilt tries to keep you from him, because you think it will hurt even more. But in His medical bag is the only healing balm that can release the chains you cannot carry. That release you wish you could get, from the heaviness and anger – He is offering it. Laughter is there. And dancing. And rest. Those seem foreign now. Like they don’t fit you. But deep down, you wonder: Will I do that again? Or for the first time:Know joy. Heaven offers a joy nothing can match. And this side of Heaven…He wants you to taste it. So you’ll want more. You don’t need to fix your hurt first. He takes the good with the bad. He doesn’t love people in slices. Will you fall into Him today, take a deep breath and let Him love you?
People of ALL AGES. It’s not too late for you, grown adult. There are parables about this. He only wants you to come. And as long as you have breath, the invitation is open. People who have been praying since childhood have no fancier invite than you. Church elders do not trump your entrance. Moses was 80 when he started to talk to Pharaoh about letting his people go. This was before he even entered the desert. People need the ministry you have to offer today. And it is not too late to store up treasures in Heaven. It’s not how you start, but how you finish.