Irritating like grit under a contact lens.
Like a dog hair embedded in the sole of my foot.
Slivers of doubt.
They creep in unannounced, uninvited, and unwanted.
How could a loving God allow thousands of souls to be swept out to sea?
What if life really is all an accident?
What if this is all there is?
What if my hope is in vain?
I entertain these visitors briefly.
Share a cup of tea.
(Do I dare tell you this?)
But ultimately I put my fingers in my ears.
And I push the mind crashers out the door.
Beat them off with scripture.
Ponder the magnificence of creation and the minute details of the workings of my body.
I’m in good company.
The Israelites doubted, though they saw and tasted a miracle-making God.
Peter doubted even after he stepped on solid sea.
Thomas would not believe until he saw and touched.
Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” ~John 20:29 (NIV)
L.L. Barkat describes how she struggled with doubt for months while a student at a Christian college.
In any case, something pushed me into crisis where I teetered on a dangerous cliff that could only drop into disbelief or rebellion. I began to question God’s very existence. (p. 54, Stone Crossings)
I’m betting that we all doubt at times.
We may not want to admit it.
Because maybe that doubt scares us.
And maybe we’re afraid to believe that we doubt, let alone share that fact with anyone.
L.L. found someone who listened without judgment.
She concludes that while the “dangers of doubt are real,” the “forces that fuel doubt are also real.”
That when it comes to the “hard things . . . unquestioned faith is questionable, that covering doubt and demanding unexamined allegiance holds its own special dangers.”
Maybe we need not fear the doubt when it comes, but should consider it an opportunity to exercise and strengthen our faith.
Do you ever have doubts?
How do you deal with them?
Standing in faith,
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. ~James 1:2-4 (Message)