Doubts

Ponder

As a Christian, the journey has been bumpy, the road has been windy and the valleys have been deep.  Despite the inconsistency and the amazing mystery of this journey, it’s been beautiful.

I had the usual Christian experience of growing up in the church.  Singing songs, memorizing verses, reading stories about Jesus.  Through high school and into college, I continued what I learned.  I went through the motions and did what I felt was right.  I kind of coasted along, I wanted to stay comfortable, I was afraid of change, fearing anything different.  I honestly became self-righteous to some extent.

After college, I kind of fell away.  Not really in a major, crazy way.  It was mostly in my heart and spirit.  I was now out in the big, bad world all by myself.  I was no longer immersed in a Godly community.  My bubble was now popped.

Fast forward a few years and I found myself in a confusing place (in fact, I find myself there every once in a while).  I began to doubt.  I began to question.  I began to wonder about the “other side”.  What the atheists and other non-christians believed.  This scared me.  I began to wonder if all that I had believed my whole life was fake.  That it was a fable.  I stayed in this place for a short time, but it felt like an eternity.

In a way, I think that God is ok with us questioning and doubting.  Having a healthy, reverent fear.  Doubting is that point where your inner thoughts from a finite mind collide with God’s truth, which comes from the eternal and infinite.  It’s asking the tough questions of God in an attempt to come even an inch closer to understanding Him.  It produces a real relationship where real questions are asked and real answers are discovered.

I read a great article by a guy named Carson Nyquist.  It’s regarding his friends facing doubts and questions head-on.  It states:  “The process was messy, often accompanied by frustration and disillusionment. But it created in them a deeper desire for truth. Not truth that can be organized or categorized, but truth that is alive. Truth that welcomes skeptics, atheists, and believers alike.”  I like the illustration of the process being messy.  It is.  God invites us to comes as we are, with all our brokenness, baggage, questions, doubts, whatever.  It’s crazy if you think about it.  We don’t have to put our “Christian” or “good person” pants on.  We just have to show up, as we are.  Period.

Really, through all this talk of doubts, questions and unknowns, one thing remains; we have a God who loves us.  Even through our limited thinking, His grace prevails.  He loves us so much that He sometimes allows us to struggle, to doubt and to fear, because He knows that the end result will be beautiful.  If we allow Him, He will continue to shape, mold and refine us into the great, unique creations that we were created to be.

I thank God for the questions and doubts.  They’ve provided a bridge to walk across, to grow closer to my Savior.

Have you ever struggled with doubts?

God Bless,

Paul

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10 thoughts on “Doubts

  1. I doubted for a long, long time. So much so that I didn’t go to any kind of a church for over 15 years. And it wasn’t that I doubted God, so much as doubted my understanding of the church’s version of God. I doubted that a God who was busy running the world had any time, let alone love, for little ol’ me. I doubted what I thought I understood: that God was going to punish me to hell for my sins unless I said the right words at the right time. It didn’t jive with this idea I had that a God who loved His children would ever punish them to everlasting damnation.

    It was definitely a messy, rocky, painful time.

    Then I stood on the banks of the McKenzie River, looking downstream, and I put all my doubts and fears and judgements on a leaf and threw it in the water and watched it float away. Felt it drain from my body. And when I had created the space for it, I turned upstream to find the gift God was waiting to fill me up with. That gift was a deep knowing of God’s love for ME. I felt loved and cherished by God for the first time ever in my life. That River Meditation was the first most powerful experience in my life up to that point.

    The depth of that knowing ebbs and flows, like the river. It might take a while to notice, but when things get rough, it means I have checked out. When I check in – step out of the crazy in my mind long enough – the knowing comes right back, and the pain recedes.

    My God cherishes me. Whatever punishment there may be in store for me will come from me removing myself from my connection to God. Not that He takes himself away from me, but that I close my heart and turn my back on Him, like a fractious child.

    All I ever have to do is open my heart and turn around, to find that God never let me go at all.

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    • Thank you Kristi. I think you are the voice of a lot of people. What an awesome experience you had at the river. I was picturing it, very moving. Also, very good point about rough periods in life. That we have checked out and moved away from God, He hasn’t moved away from us. I appreciate your transparency.

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  2. I have wrestled with doubt at times. As i see corruption in the church and its leaders, i wonder how much of churchianity is crowd control with a religious mask. As i see hardship and suffering dead ahead, i wonder how that brings God glory. As i experience pain, i wonder if i have a breaking point where i would do or say anything to make it stop. But then i remember His dealings with me and i am so grateful that He is more real than religion, circumstances, and this short fragile life. I remember the connection and shated experience of His goodness that i have with people i’ve never met because they too have known his goodness. And i take comfort and consolation knowing that He is bringing all things to himself and i say, even so, come lord jesus.

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    • Thanks Durable for the comment and transparency. I can understand your concerns about the church. There will be hardship and suffering ahead, I agree. I think that, during those times, God will draw people to Himself in different ways. The luxuries of this world will be gone. Health, status, stuff….these will all be an afterthought. God doesn’t bring glory to Himself because of the hardship, I believe that He brings Himself glory through the hardship. We can rejoice, even through the doubts, the fighting, the hardships and the ups and downs of this world because we have a powerful God, full of grace, love and mercy. I’m grateful that our God understands us, even through our constant battling within ourselves. Take care my friend. I also take comfort in knowing that the ultimate Author will soon bring all things to Himself.

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  3. “Doubting is that point where your inner thoughts from a finite mind collide with God’s truth, which comes from the eternal and infinite.” So true! Thanks for your honesty.

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