Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday's Thought

29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me?Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
- John 20:29 ESV
"Sunlight on Swan Cone Flowers"
(C) Allen Pearson, All Rights Reserved

I struggle with doubt in my life.  Though there are many areas where this can happen, it seems to hit me the hardest in the area of faith, God and church.  I have to admit that I am surprised by this because over the short 50 years of my life, I’ve been blessed by miracles, situations and events along life’s way that have ultimately pointed to the hand of God.

I haven’t been able to figure out why, entirely, this seems to happen so strongly. EXCEPT  It seems that when God is going to do something somewhere in my life, whether or not it directly affects me or if it would just be something beneficial for me to see or participate in, the doubt is a strong cloud which hangs over me like one of those nasty thunderstorms you’d wish would roll on through.  And, some days the rain just pours pushing the doubt even harder at me.

I doubt everything that is associated with God, from the church to the Bible to anything in the Christian world you can imagine.  It becomes difficult as I find myself not wanting to participate in anything church related yet I need to take responsibility for the leadership of my home and not cause my wife to stumble.

When I was in college, I went through this journey of finding God and Who it is I believe in.  Though I was brought up in the church, my experiences weren’t the best. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that is  life, because the church is made up of humans trying to do their best to serve God.   So, my struggles in college weren’t a bad thing, in a sense.  A professor said that I wouldn’t get to heaven based on my parents’ beliefs, I had to have my own.  And, I wasn’t completely happy with the denomination that I was attending because of their Manual of “do’s” and “don’ts” as I like to call it.  During the period of struggles, I determined what I believed and went from there.  I began a fantastic, unbelievable journey with God that I am still on.

My mother had a stroke, my dog died, my grandmother died, my “adopted” grandmother died, my mother passed away a year or so later, my brother died unexpectedly, and then my mother-in-law is diagnosed with cancer. So where is God in all this?  As I look back at life, I can see Him there in the comforting of me during these years of crazy struggles.  A peace that passes all understanding is often with me in those life events.

So, why all the doubt?  Why all the debate?  Why all the looking into the skies wondering if He is there?  Why the strong desires to run like crazy in the opposite direction, adding some screaming  along the way?  I don’t know. Prayers seem to fall on deaf ears - though I know they truly aren’t.

Belief in God is an exercise of faith.  It is a belief in things unseen. It is a belief in things that happen to others, like a friend’s miraculous healing from cancer though the doctors gave her only three months to live.  It is a faith that the Bible is God’s Word and is true.

So, while the doubts are hitting me hard, I will hold onto a simple faith.   And, as I wonder what could be next, I hold onto faith to believe in God and His Word.  Not a complicated process or determination of the realms of theological debate or exposition of the Scriptures. Just simple, “Faith. “

38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, 
nor angels nor rulers, nor things present 
nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height 
nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, 
will be able to separate us from the love of God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.  - Romans 8:38-39

1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, 
the conviction of things not seen.

6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, 
for whoever would draw near to God must 
believe that he exists and that 
he rewards those who seek him.
- Hebrews 11:1, 6

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