I’ve never really wrestled with doubt. I have a lot of friends whose lives with God have been marked by prolonged seasons of doubt. They spend those seasons searching for answers and trying to find reasons to keep pursuing their faith. Thankfully, most of them have pressed through their doubt and allowed it to strengthen their faith. Unfortunately, though, some people have given into the doubt and walked away from their faith.
I’ve never had a season like that. I’m thankful that God has preserved me from any prolonged season of doubt. Belief has always come easily to me. I know that’s partially because I was raised in a strong Christian home, but more than anything I attribute it to God’s grace. Perhaps God knows that my faith isn’t strong enough to endure an extended period of doubt so he’s graciously kept me from experiencing one.
So when I do doubt, I don’t really doubt God’s existence. I don’t doubt his love for me or his infinite goodness in spite of everything that I see in this broken world. I know that God is eternally faithful in spite of my unfaithfulness, but that’s where my doubts most often show up.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my life recently and what’s next. Alycia and I are praying that she’ll get a job in a different school district next year, which would allow us to move back to Rancho Cucamonga where I work and where we go to church. That would be great and I don’t doubt that God will work as he wants in that situation. When I look at my own life, though, and what’s next for me, I wonder if God is going to show up.
I don’t know if I should go back and work for a church.
I don’t know if I should just keep fixing computers and running The Christian Nerd.
I don’t know if there’s some other option out there that I haven’t even thought about.
I have all of these questions about my future and right now I doubt if God is going to give me the answers. Not because he enjoys being withholding, but because I haven’t done a great job of listening to him lately.
For about two weeks Clara has regressed to some bad sleep habits. For a few months she was sleeping through the night most nights. This enabled Alycia and me to get a good night’s rest. For me that meant sleeping well enough to wake up early in the morning to have a good time with Jesus and go running. Now, though, I’m awake at least once or twice every night for an hour; when my alarm goes off the last thing I want to do is get out of bed.
So as all of these questions have arisen lately, I’ve hoped that I would hear God’s voice and glean some direction. As I sat down to listen to God yesterday morning, though, I realized it was the first time in a long time that I actually sat down to be with God at all, much less to really focus in on hearing his voice. In that moment I didn’t doubt whether or not God could speak to me, but I doubted whether or not he would want to since I had been such bad listener recently.
I felt like I was treating God like one of those friends who only calls when he or she needs something. I hate helping my friends move, but I do it because we’ve spent years together, regularly investing in each other’s lives. Right now asking God to give me direction for what’s next feels like calling a friend, to whom I haven’t spoken in years, and asking him to help me move. I know that God’s faithfulness isn’t dependent on my faithfulness, but I’d doubt it less if I were more faithful.
I know that God will be faithful in my life regardless of what I do; that’s just who he is. However, I don’t want God to be faithful in my life in spite of my unfaithfulness. Even though I never could, I want to match God’s faithfulness with my own faithfulness. That way, even when I’m not sure of what’s going on in my life, I won’t have to worry about that little voice of doubt saying, “He won’t be faithful to you because you haven’t been faithful to him.”
What causes you to doubt God’s faithfulness?