Giving into your doubts is probably one of the subtlest temptations that entice the human brain. Because worrying is such a human thing, it’s so easy to do and so difficult to resist.
Lately I’ve been giving into my doubts and fears, about everything. This all started last night, while I was trying to study for my World Literature final…which was today. I didn’t think it was all that convenient. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the worries were real, very real, but I just couldn’t understand why I had to let myself worry right then. I was getting frustrated with myself and with finals and with the future and with just about everything else (the bed post, the bottle of hand sanitizer, a clump of dust on the carpet, etc.). It was just stupid.
God, I’m just so done with this whole worrying thing. I mean, I don’t want to seem lazy by not worrying about having a job, and I don’t want to seem careless or irresponsible by not worrying about the future, but I just don’t want to worry anymore.
I tried to figure out why my brain was so weird. I knew why partially, but there was more than one catalyst. So I went through a log of the things I’d been listening to, reading, watching, eating, etc. Turns out I was right about my thinking reading secular material was a bad idea; all the material I had been reading had been twisting everything in my brain right around. Funny videos I had been watching for comic relief had taken up valuable time with God. The music I had been listening to wasn’t helping me clean my brain out either (a mistake I’ve already made once this semester). The condition of my brain was terrible, and I was questioning my faith, the truth of God’s word, the point of my being here, everything. My world was being torn up from the roots and I had no way to stop it.
But then something weird happened.
I just started crying. I was weeping, letting myself release everything, all of my doubts about the God who is so crucial to my existence. I questioned Him and told Him what I was thinking. I let myself doubt and worry and fear and be afraid. I let myself be vulnerable in front of Him, something, over the past few weeks, I had forgotten I could do. I told Him I didn’t know if He was real or not, if He really even cared, if He was listening.
But this morning when I woke up, after I had finished my breakdown in front of Him and then fallen asleep, I talked to Him again. I had forgotten the hope to which I’ve been called, the love I’ve experienced, the unbelievable miracles I’ve witnessed in my life, especially my own salvation. I remembered, as I lie there in bed, all of the people I’d seen fall because what they had as their foundation was just a handful of sand. Then I realized I had gone through their same situations, worse than theirs, and I survived; I hadn’t fallen. What was the factor that kept me alive during those times? I remembered the times I had fallen flat on my face, all of the times I had given into myself when I should’ve resisted. What was missing?
All this time (meaning, about a week) I had been living under the impression that I was fine, that I had it altogether (even though I knew that wasn’t at all true), that I was solid. I believed I had to be happy all the time or people would think I wasn’t a “good Christian.” But I’m human.
All this time I had been telling myself I needed God, I wanted to be with God…but I was deceiving myself. I really only wanted what I wanted, not what He wanted. That’s why my hope suddenly evaporated, because I had temporarily, for only a week or so, replaced the only thing outside of myself that could give me real hope, real strength, real meaning. The over complication of life and the fear of growing up had made me accept what the world sees as reality as opposed to real reality. The world’s reality is that there is no God, or if there is He doesn’t matter. The world’s reality is that I need to make my way for myself, be strong by myself, have a boyfriend, buy nice clothes, be skinny, don’t talk about God like He’s real, have an opinion as long as it agrees with the majority. This is what I had adopted for a moment in time. I had accepted that I was “in the real world now” and I couldn’t keep living under the pretense that there was a God. God was something children believe in. “Yeah, it works for high school but now you’re becoming an adult and God no longer works for you.”
That’s so stupid!
All of the prophets of both the Old and the New Testament were adults. Noah was an adult. Abraham was certainly an adult. Moses was an adult. Paul was an adult. Whoever says God isn’t for adults is living in one weird spot. Forget about the adults though; look at the life of Samuel. The story of Samuel is told from his dedication to God and his apprenticeship under Eli, all the way up to his adult life and his role in the life of king Saul. God chose to speak His message of Israel’s judgement to Samuel over Eli, when Samuel was just a boy, maybe thirteen-years-old. Then, as he grew, he followed God and continued in His way and believed He was solid, real, true.
“But Hunter, God actually performed miracles back then. It was easy to see that He was real.”
Yes. I understand. But It’s easy to see He’s real today as well. With a world so dark and full of crazy stuff (people having revelations through art, through self-affliction, through false religions, people participating in the occult, people being spineless and lukewarm and noncommittal), anything that contrasts with that world, anything that goes against the grain, is God’s influence.
For example; back in the Sticks, when the bill passed to have New York become a pro-homosexual state, our governor at the time said, on live television, that “the people of New York had spoken.” A lot of people in my neighborhood cried out with, “I don’t remember speaking that way!” Against the grain.
My mom openly talks about her faith in the work place, and she’s a teacher in the public school system. She could get in serious trouble for talking about God to her students and her coworkers. In fact, when she first talked about her faith, she was verbally attacked by some of her coworkers. Against the grain.
Every time you see a sunset, a sunrise that steals your breath away, that’s God’s doing.
Whenever someone decides to remain pure until they’re married, whenever someone decides to remain faithful to their spouse, whenever someone teaches kindness rather than revenge, it reigns as evidence that God is still very alive. He is the literal, physical, active light in this world. Anything good, every good thing comes from Him. He’s everywhere. He’s real.
“What about Christians who say you can’t question the Bible or God?”
They’re wrong. You can question the Bible as much as you want. It is the infallible, solid, completely true word of God. It will stand true no matter what you throw at it. God’s word is completely capable of defending itself. Believe me; I ask questions about everything, all the time, ask anybody who knows me. I’ve questioned the Bible on almost everything and I still have questions, but every time I try to find a “weak spot” or a hole in the word of God, it always slams me in the face with an answer, with a solution, with a reminder of truth. When I doubt this way, I always let myself to question God and His word; I am never let down.
Never. Because God is that absolute.
“But Hunter, you can’t see God.”
Nope; I can’t see God. And, honestly, I’m glad. Nobody saw God except John’s spirit when he was called to write the book of Revelation, and even then, when God was seen, John’s eternal self, his spirit, couldn’t even stand it, couldn’t handle it (Revelation 1:12-20). God’s appearance is described as able to kill any who look upon Him, not because He doesn’t want you to look at Him but because we just can’t handle His glory and His light and His perfection. Our puny human brains would explode. But the evidence of God, the touch of His presence, including the dwelling of the Holy Spirit inside His children, exists everywhere.
“But why would you trust something you can’t see?”
You can’t see your brain, can you? You can’t visibly see your heart, but you know it’s beating. You can’t see love, but you know it exists. You have never placed your hand on a star….but you know it’s real because of the light it shines against the night sky. Likewise, you can see God is real because of the light He shows against the canvas of this dark world; you can see Him shine through the bravery, the courage, the confidence, the love, and the glow of His children.
“I still don’t know enough to trust God’s existence…”
Well then I have only one reply; I guess that’s why it’s called faith 🙂
“I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t a God and die to find out there is.” —Albert Camus