“Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.” Paul Tillich
I am on staff at a reasonably good sized church. I am in seminary. I have professed to be a believer of Jesus Christ for the last fifteen years. This week I have had more doubts about the basic tenets of faith and my own beliefs about God than possibly ever before. Does prayer really even matter, if God loves us then why the shooting in the movie theater of kids, is God really good, blah, blah, blah. This has been a week where I have wondered why I do what I do, why I believe what I believe, and if any of it even matters. Listening to Christian music, being around Christians talking about their faith and even my job are annoying, frustrating and if I am going to be brutally honest, have raised my doubt and skepticism to new heights.
These are not things a church employee, grad student in seminary and Christian blogger should be professing and I wish I weren’t admitting them. As I am around other Christians and pastors and as I read the Bible or books from Christian authors I wonder if they are always on their Christian highs or if they doubt, question and wonder. But what really matters for me is what do I do with this season of doubt? How do I reconcile my skeptism and annoyance with anything having to do with faith? Last night I decided I would read my Bible. Did I feel like it? Did I believe what it said? Did I think it would make a difference? I don’t know but what I do know is God is allowing this walk thru this spiritual pit and I believe He will allow me to climb out of it (in His time of course.., that is annoying to me right now too). I also know that when I pray I am honest with Him about all of this and I know on a cerebral level that He is still God no matter how I am feeling and no matter how much I doubt.
“Lord, thank you that time in the pit makes moments on the mountain top seem so much sweeter. Thank you that you are allowing me to sit in this place of yuck and that you have allowed many who love you to do the same thing (blog.beliefnet.com/omeoflittlefaith). Thank you that nothing about how I feel or what I believe changes who you are. Help me to climb out of this place soon if possible but most of all, please don’t let me climb out until you have taught me something that takes my faith deeper. Amen.”