Sunday, October 25, 2015

31 Days of Brave: Day 25 - brave in my doubt

Worship this morning was amazing. It was one of those "this is what heaven must be like" moments.

This week's sermon was about Thomas, the disciple best known for doubting Jesus' resurrection. At my church we play a video "bumper" before the sermon begins, introducing the sermon (or series) and during the bumper I picked up my phone, opened my blogger app and wrote the title for this blog post.It isn't something that I had thought about until that moment, really, but it feels like a key question in my search for what it means to be brave.

Here is the question at the heart of it all. How does Jesus respond to me in my doubt?

I don't know about you, how you were raised, or how doubt sits in your soul. Some of us are naturally more questioning and others naturally accepting, naturally disposed to believe, to accept a reality beyond what we can see, others less so. I tend to see myself as someone with strong faith and so doubt feels like a negative thing. It tends to be something I am ashamed of. Like a lot of things in my life Satan's lie to me in my moments of doubt are "you ought to know better". But yeah - I have doubts. I have doubted it all - since my husband's de-conversion being strong in my faith, and especially being strong in the details of my faith has been super-tricky. And doubting God's will for my life and his presence in my pain have been a teeter-totter journey in faith and doubt. I tend to have a hard time being honest with myself about my doubt. I want to turn a blind eye to it.

There have been moments, especially during this past year when I have doubted. I have asked where is God in this? I have wondered why it felt like God was so far away, and doubted if he still cared for me. It felt like he had forgotten me, abandoned me.  My doubts tend to make me withdraw into myself. My doubts tend to make me feel isolated from my Christian friends - like I said, I don't want to look at my doubts square in the face. I feel ashamed of them. But most importantly I feel like I can't be close to God with a heart full of doubt. Like doubt is a betrayal. But in the story of Thomas we see Jesus responding differently. I think you could read this story a bunch of different ways but here is the way I hear it:

There Thomas was, in all the agony of doubt. Her Jesus came and Thomas was not the last person he spoke to, he was the first. He went strait to Thomas and you can almost hear the compassion in his voice as he says "Here I am. It's really me. You don't have to doubt anymore."

My doubt trips me up. It makes me feel like hiding. It makes me feel like God wants nothing to do with me until I sort myself out. But do you see here what Jesus does? He draws near to his loved one. He draws very near to his doubting one. Can you feel the Holy Spirit saying "you too" to all of you feelings of doubt. Thomas doubted if Jesus could have really risen from the dead and Jesus drew near to him with compassion and he draws near to me with compassion when I have doubt. Jesus draws near to me in my doubt and fear. And so as I am learning what it means to be brace I'm learning to face my doubt and look for Jesus to draw near to me.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, such an important and heartfelt post. There's so much of what you say that I've felt and feel as well. You know, I have wished sometimes that I wasn't so inquisitive, so full of questions...but you know, God made me who He intended me to be...the inquisitiveness included...and He made you to be you as you are as well. Love this post. Thanks for dropping by my blog ( because it helped me find yours...I'll be back! (BTW have had to post via google login under my maiden name as wordpress wasn't working)


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