Life happens! Whether it’s a major tragedy or a series of events, life happens. Horrible things take place. Life becomes overwhelming. With a pandemic and a derecho, the last year and a half have brought enough hurdles to last a lifetime for many of us!
When this happens, we respond. Some of us run and hide. Some of us become busier than ever. Others of us become consumed with doubt. We become depressed and alone. We think there is something wrong with us. We become disappointed in ourselves. It’s possible we question our faith.
The truth is . . . we all have doubts. Jesus himself had doubts. He had moments when he doubted God and God was very distant from him. In the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, Jesus doubted. Jesus said, “My God, my God, why have you left me?” (Matthew 27:46, CEB)
Doubting is natural. I have certainly had my doubts over the years. What I have come to see though, is that doubting is good. Alfred Tennyson in his poem, “In Memorium,” said, “There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.” We might say that doubt is one of the most important tools God uses to bring people to a deeper faith.
In the book, “Pilgrim’s Progress,” John Bunyan brings out the life of faith. Bunyan lifts up a character named Christian. Christian’s journey to the Celestial City is not smooth and easy. His way is filled with discouragements and detours. He becomes bogged down in the Slough of Despond and lost in the Bypass Meadow. He spends time in the Doubting Castle as well as Vanity Fair. Bunyan is saying to us through allegory that faith is never simple and easy. This world is a dynamic environment to bring forth strong souls. God allows obstacles to strengthen us. Doubt is one of those obstacles.
Doubt is a hurdle that, when overcome with the help of others, can cause us to have a deeper, richer, more significant faith. In the struggle for meaning and purpose, we learn to doubt our doubts. Might we walk in the way of the Lord and experience God’s presence and love!
Blessings to you, Scott