When I was five, my parents took me to faith-healer. I was a severe asthmatic–the breathing-machine, oxygen-tent kind–and it was speculated that this revivalist had the unction. I went forward and the preacher anointed me. He put his hand flat against my forehead, asked me to repeat a prayer after him. He said “amen,” claimed healing, and sent me on my way.
I’m thirty-five and asthmatic to this day.
I’ve said it before–this childhood experience was the genesis of my doubting. Over time, this seed sprouted, grew into a wide-branching tree. For a time, I was embarrassed to admit it, afraid that I was the lone doubter amid the throngs of Sunday worshipers. I felt somehow other-than Christian, a second-class saint. What did my doubting say about the efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice, or the sovereignty of God? What did my lack of faith say of my ability to find healing, peace? Was I truly alone?
I’ve grown enough in my faith to admit it. I struggle with doubt even on the good days. And on the bad ones? Doubt swarms like a locust plague, threatens to consume what meager harvest has managed to grow. But now I know the truth–I am not alone. I’ve had friends confess doubt. Good friends; friends in the ministry. I’ve seen pillars of the church fall, cite their lack of faith as the culprit. Perhaps you struggle with doubt, too. And not just the “why doesn’t God fix my finances?” kind of doubt, but the seemingly more dire doubts like “is there anybody out there?”
Sometimes, it feels as if the church is conspicuously quiet on the topic. Some complexities are a bit too much to untangle in the course of an hour, after all. But let’s discuss it today; let’s discuss it here.
Tell me, do you struggle with doubt? Do you flounder in your faith? If so, how do you find peace? Do you find solace in the Scriptures? If so, where?
I’ve resolved some of my questions by and through grace. In the spirit of good will, I’ll share a bit more in the comments. Would you join me there in working this out?
*Photograph by Beshef, via Creative Commons license.