This whole process of journaling on-line can be pretty revealing. The last few times I have started writing, including this evening, I have a faint recollection that I already wrote on this subject. I then start feeling convicted, thinking that I can’t write about struggling with the same thing again! But, the truth is, I find myself walking over the same ground again and again, particularly the ground of doubt. The last few days, my confidence has somewhat waned and my focus shifted to the challenges ahead of me instead of the truth of God.
I have been pondering what it means to hear God, to be able to say, “God spoke this to me.” God can speak in so many ways and sometimes speaks in the quiet. Last night, Chris and I got to sit around a dinner table with a number of people who have been hearing God speak amazing things to them, giving them visions, dreams, and confirmations from all sorts of places. This is completely encouraging to me, that God chooses to reveal His purposes to us, but at the same time, it sometimes sends me to this place of comparison. I think, “I wonder if I really heard from God like they have.”
At certain times in my life, my doubts, not just about my ability to connect with and hear from God, but doubts about God’s existence and plan as a whole, have been nearly suffocating. One of the ways I have comforted myself is to remember the many men and women that I know or that have come before me in the faith that lived their lives demonstrating a complete confidence in knowing God and His voice. After all, so many people couldn’t have spent their lives on behalf of something that didn’t exist, right?
The last few days though, I began feeling that relying on their stories is not really going to sustain me when I am walking through a valley. At the end of the day, confidence in God is a deeply personal matter. It is something you cannot borrow from someone else, including your parents, spouse, pastor, or anyone else. Even as I pause and think about this, despite all of the doubts that have come on me, I still sense a tiny little seed buried in my soul that knows my Creator, my God. This little seed can get buried and hidden by doubts of the enemy, but it is still there.
How do I then live with my doubts, acknowledge them, and then move past them? As Chris and I were taking a long walk this evening, talking about faith and praying, God impressed upon my heart that these doubts can actually be a faith builder. He showed me that each time I have doubted, it has driven me closer to Him. There is something about doubt that keeps me humble, keeps me close to the Father, begging to hear His voice again. I am not suggesting that I embrace my doubts, but can I thank God for them? Thank God that I never get so confident that I forget to seek Him? Can my doubts actually be a vehicle for me to grow in my confidence in Christ?
I cannot promise you that this will be the last time I write about doubt, but I can tell you that I am okay with it. I think God is teaching me how to work through them and come out the other side with a greater knowledge of Him. As many times as I have asked God for a sign and He has proven Himself to me, I want to become a disciple that says, “Even if I see no more signs, visions, dreams, or miracles, I am going to keep following You because Your quiet presence is enough.” I long for complete confidence, but in the meantime, my choice is to let my doubts drive me closer to Him.
“Be merciful to those who doubt.”