What if heaven isn’t real?

Originally published Sunday, 18 May 2014.

Then all his disciples deserted him [Jesus] and ran away. Mark 14:50 (NLT)

"There had better be a heaven."

“Why do say that?” my husband asked me.

I sighed before responding, “Because if there isn’t, then what are we living for?”

We were chatting quietly after just hearing a friend of ours had passed away. We’ve had three friends in their early thirties pass away in the last three months. Each death makes me feel more fragile. It makes me feel my age. It makes me wonder who will be next. 

It makes me ask some honest questions, to speak and write about things that make me uncomfortable. 

I was raised to have a black and white faith. 

A faith that has all the answers so doesn’t even bother with questions. 

As I’ve grown older I’ve found that sometimes black and white makes me struggle to believe in God when times are tough. 

Sometimes I doubt there is a heaven.

Sometimes I wonder if God exists. 

In my darkest moments I wonder if God and the devil have made a deal about my life like the first chapter of Job. But then I shake that idea off, as it would mean I’m the most righteous person living – I’m not. 

Where did I get the idea that I can't ask questions or that I have to have all the answers to be accepted by God? It’s not in the bible

There are nine words in Mark 14:50 that have brought me comfort in my doubts: Then all his disciples deserted Jesus and ran away.

The disciples must have had doubts too if they ran away. (tweet this)

The disciples must have felt scared that the faith they had would make them look like fools. 

The disciples must have wondered if the man they followed was really God.

As I read this verse I’m learning that between my black and white faith Jesus has room for grey. He has room and time for indecision and questions and even people running away because of these doubts. 

If you carry on reading to the end of the book of Mark you’ll see that Jesus comes and visits with these very same men who ran away, with the men who allowed their fears to get the best of them, he visits with them and invites them to be the ones who go throughout the world talking about how their doubts in a man became belief in the son of God, Jesus Christ

I don't have all the answers. 

The disciples didn’t either. 

I'm learning to be okay with that. 

I don’t have to have all the answers to believe in God. (tweet this)

Jesus will come to me when I run from him with my doubts. He will come and hold out nail scarred and hands and help me in my unbelief. 

Ponder: What doubts do you have about your faith? How do you handle them?

Prayer: Jesus, thank you that my doubts don’t scare you away. Help me in my unbelief. Amen.

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- This was orginally published on my site in March 2014 to read more devotionals like this go to ilovedevotionals.com