Monday, May 2, 2011

Finding Jesus in the Doubts

A pastor friend of mine recently gave a sermon that explained that it’s okay for Christians to have doubts. I’m so glad he said that because I was going to have them whether it was okay or not. My faith was planted in a field of doubts. It grew and later flourished, transforming that field of doubts into a fortress of truth - beliefs tested and proven in adversity.

Jesus came to me in a time of my life when I believed that absolutely no one could be trusted – a belief proven beyond a shadow of a doubt repeatedly throughout my lifetime. I remember wanting to belief that this Jesus I was reading about in the Bible was real. I desperately wanted it to be true, but my life experience had told me that even if it were true, Jesus, like everyone else, would eventually hurt and/or abandon me.

It was the hope that Jesus was who the Bible said he was that gave me the courage and determination to approach the Lord that first time. I remember it so clearly. I told Jesus that if he was who he said he was – he knew that the trust had been beaten out of me long ago. I told him of my deep desire for him to be the person revealed to me in God’s Word and I offered to trust him as much as I could – as little as that was – and allow him to prove to me that he could be trusted more. That was enough for Jesus. He wasn't asking me for more than I had to give - only all that I had to give. He accepted all the trust I had to offer and over the years has proven to me relentlessly that he can be trusted beyond the shadow of any doubt. His patience, love, and acceptance won my heart little by little and I have learned and believe wholeheartedly – even in doubt, Jesus is trustworthy.

I find it amazing that, even after so many years, doubt is still just as present. But now, instead of doubt in God, my doubts are in me. Why would God love me? Was this the sin that broke the camel’s back – how can God forgive me one more time? I’m so inadequate – why would God use me to further his kingdom? Here’s the thing about doubting myself – it doesn’t change how much God loves me, or how much he can do in and through me! Even in my doubts, God can and will still do what God does and I get to see once again that he is the all-powerful, loving God revealed to me in the Bible. In fact, it is in my self-doubting that God’s power and love are so clearly seen.

I’m not saying that I have to go around doubting myself for the rest of my life. In fact, I’ve recently begun growing past my self-doubt and amazingly enough – God is still God. Doubt will continue to creep in on occasion over my lifetime, but even in doubt, I will have the rock solid assurance that God is with me, that he loves me, and that he will provide for and protect me to the best of his ability which can never fail me.

About the pictures:
Deer Lake Park, PA (August 09)

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