I’ve met a few of them in real life — enough to know that they really do exist – and not just on the pages of novels I’ve read.
People who don’t ever seem to wrestle with doubt, people who don’t question or second-guess (God or themselves or others). People who don’t lose faith or lose hope, no matter what happens.
Some are optimists, but not all. I know of some pessimists — people who believe that if anything can go wrong, it will – but that God is in it all.
To those of us who waver, who toss and turn and wring our hands and question and wrestle and doubt, it appears these “others” are either spiritual giants or else ordinary people with massive cases of denial.
But I think it’s more (often) likely to be a temperament thing. A personality thing. They’re more vulnerable to other kinds of temptations. Or sufferings.
The way God wired these hardy folks, it’s easier for them to separate facts from feelings. To be – at least in some areas – extremely logical. It’s the “God said it, I believe it, that settles it” mentality. Feelings don’t come into it. Circumstances don’t come into it. The fact is… The TRUTH is… and that’s all that matters.
God bless them.
(God bless you, if you’re one of them! As I said, I realize you have other battles to face.)
For the rest of us, we can get there… we can get to that same place. It’s just that our journey is different. And it may take a little longer.
We have to ask the hard questions, get answers to the ones we can — and learn to live with the ones we can’t. We have to sit with our doubts. We have to lose our faith and then find it, over and over again.
We have to be honest about our feelings… and learn for ourselves that they don’t always tell us the truth. We have to live through difficult (if not impossible) circumstances to discover they weren’t always what they seemed. And God wasn’t absent or impotent or merely observing from afar.
Like Jacob, we have to wrestle with God, even if it means we walk away limping. Like Job, we have to come to a place where we decide and then declare: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” And then from there, to a place where our confidence in His Calvary love – His mercy and grace and His eternal faithfulness – is so deep… nothing can shake us.
“I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return.” 2 Timothy 1:12
And then just like our brothers and sisters I described earlier, we stand resolute. Unwavering.
Here’s a secret though, that we can learn from our just-the-facts family: In some ways we’re all on a journey, always on a journey. We don’t have to wait til we get to the end, to declare what we know will be true for us, is true for us. We can start declaring it now.
We want to believe. We do believe. Lord, help us believe.
Virtual VBS Assignment:
We’re in Week Three of our free online summer Bible study, Virtual VBS for GrownUp Girls: Holding on to Hope… When Life Is Hard. If you’re participating, here are your instructions for this week:
Read: John 14 and John 15 I’ve linked to these passages in the New Living Translation on BibleGateway and I’d encourage you to give them a read there or print them out to read later. I was practically born on a church pew and I find that some verses in these passages in KJV / NIV are so familiar, they barely register when I read them — and others are so awkwardly worded — in English (not critizing the original!) — it’s not easy to get what they’re saying. Reading them in a different translation makes me pay more attention to the familiar verses and illuminates the others. It’s really STAGGERING, what Jesus tells us here. If we lived like we believed even half of it…
For more tips on getting the most out of your Bible reading, see Five Simple Ways to Focus on the Words You Read