The marvelous dealing of our Lord with Thomas is a picture of His gracious dealing with every doubting heart, and ought to be the perpetual model for every one who attempts to give help at this time. When the Master stood before that disciple who said he would not believe unless he had the indubitable proof of a physical testing, He spoke no words of censure, no words of His pain that Thomas had been so long time with Him and yet did not know Him in faith. “Jesus said, ’Peace be unto you. Reach hither thy finger, and see My hands, and reach thither thy hand and put it into My side and be not faithless but believing,’ and Thomas answered and said unto Him, ‘My Lord and my God!’”
With like patience and infinite tenderness, the Spirit deals with the troubled heart today. He makes the past days with God live again in memory, if the life has known Him, and the soul can not deny in its reason the reality of what it has lived through in its experience. He uses every Christian life that can bear the search light as an irrefutable argument of the verity of the unseen. He brings the peace of God that passeth understanding, yet fills and thrills the soul as every service for Him is rendered even in the darkness. He calls through hard experience where reason can bring no comfort and the will is palsied, through the abiding unrest and longing of a heart that is feeling after God in its own way, instead of His, and through the drawing of childhood habits of love and trust. When at last, spent out with struggle and longing, the soul is willing to come back to the Heavenly Father as the little child who used to be, asking only to walk hand in His, in dark or light, a new consciousness dawns, clear, sure and absolute that, “Thus saith the Lord,” is more than reason, and the triumphant song rings out, “I know whom I have believed, My Lord and My God!”
The Sunday School touches a life just entering maturity at the focal point toward which all nurture has been tending. Enriched by years of absorption, with ideals defined and channels of expression traced, the soul faces an open door, bearing the inscript “Service.” It is that each soul may enter the door and give back to a waiting world its best, that nurture has brooded and guarded through the years.
The great work of the Sunday School is to impel the soul to take this step, and taking it, say, “I am debtor.” This can not be done through any system of methods, neither are narrow interests or unexacting tasks sufficient to arouse all that the soul has now to give. The great sweep and mighty force of world movements are alone adequate for a soul in touch with God and infinities.
There has never been a time in the history of Sunday School work when there were such far reaching, thrilling movements through which to appeal to manhood and womanhood as at the present time, and God’s Hand is not hidden in the matter.