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?