Originally published Friday, 25 December 2015.
It creeps. It crawls. It slithers. We move fast, running with a paper towel to try to kill that blasted thing before it shows it's disgusting face. We. Must. Kill. The. Yuck. We can't see that. We can't admit that. Don't let anyone know that exists...
It would change the face of everything.
It would risk who we are.
It might make us reconsider things.
It might make others declare us un-Christian.
It might make God angry.
Just the other day, feeling overwhelmed by the this' and thats of our great joyride called life, I stood in the center of it all, dropped my arms and practically screamed, "God, can you really help me get out of this mess? Do you really help?"
I have probably said it a hundred ways, on other days -
sounding something like this:
God if you are so good, why haven't you saved me yet?
Jesus, if you are all love, why did that happen?
What if my beliefs are all wrong and I chose the wrong way?
Why would you let the innocent get hurt?
Do you really want me?
I can't be good enough (which truly is saying Jesus isn't good enough).
Does prayer really change anything?
Even writing these things evokes feelings of shame. Shame that I would much rather gather between my fingers, pinch and let the insides squirm out. Shame that I want to hide for fear of a quick rebuke, but hiding never went unseen in the garden and it doesn't on earth either.
So it makes me consider, what if speaking doubts
is the best way to speak in new faith?
What if talking with God about the unknown
is the best way to make him more known?
I think about one man. His name was John. He baptized. But, before he did that, he went to the wilderness and started to preach and to call people to repentance. People came. They came from Jerusalem and Judea and the whole region of Jordan (Mt. 3:5-6). They confessed and were changed.
This man. He was on fire for the Lord. This man. He was preparing the way for Christ.
This man. Not too long after, doubted.
When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jo. 11:2
Sometimes our prisons of despair make us feel certain
God doesn't care.
Sometimes when we get all alone, our loneliness makes us believe God left us too.
Sometimes, when doubt kicks in, we have to kick out our fears to Jesus' feet
and let him stomp them out.
That is what John did. He sent his disciples to Jesus with his question.
Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” Jo. 11:4
When we remember what God has done, we start to realize how much more he can do.
When we see all that he has fulfilled, we begin to believe he will fill in our gaps.
Jesus doesn't tell us to go around squashing and squishing every question, fear or uncertainty that arises. He doesn't chide John for his question and send him off without any care. Jesus tells us to come to him, to dive into his Word and to taste and see that the Lord is good.
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Ps. 34:8
When we feel blocked in by the bars of life, we can reach out to receive the Word of life, in order to be refreshed by the Spirit who provides life.
Then, with new strength and new hope, we can call out and say something like: "I believe; help my unbelief!" Mark 9:24
And God does, because he is. And our heart becomes stronger; it beats louder, gets more oxygen and pumps more blood and we know that we did the right thing by being honest for he honestly changed our doubts into belief. We become confident he answers prayer.
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