Friday, December 21, 2007

For those days when I don't believe a single word of this.

For those days when I don't believe a single word of this.

I had coffee with my mentor last night or life coach if you will. He asked me if I was done with the blog, if it was a project that had run its course. The words all said, the ideas all dried up, the clock finally striking midnight turning the carriage back into a pumpkin.

I told him no. I think there are still things to write, people to write to. So I’m going to launch some new things in 2008. I’m going to set some ridiculous goals for the site and then try to reach them day by day.

But some days, if I’m being honest, I just don’t believe in God.

At all.

That’s not the greatest thing to admit, but it’s true. There are some mornings when the size and shape of God kind of overwhelms me. The idea that I have a personal relationship with the ruler of the universe kind of catches up with me. The concept that the person that created the milky way is invested in seeing that my day goes well makes no sense.

And in the midst of that, I find myself surrounded with doubt and frustration. I try to hide it all. To pretend that the questions aren’t there, that what felt so true yesterday doesn’t feel fake today. But I’m starting to feel that doubt is OK. More than that, I’m starting to feel that moments of unbelief are OK.

My favorite example of this is in Mark 9. In a small story, a father with a son who was suffering from convulsions came and asked Christ to heal him. Christ replied:

“Everything is possible for him who believes.”

“Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

I don’t think I ever heard that story growing up but it should be included in every new believer class on the planet. Seriously, if you ever ask questions about God and the bible and faith, one of the first things they should say is, “Welcome to church, let me tell you about this guy that didn’t believe.”

That is such an unexpectedly beautiful story. The thing I really like about it is that it says the father responded “immediately.” He wasn’t ashamed of his unbelief. He exclaimed it instantly. And when he did, Christ struck him down with lightning for not trusting in the Lord. No, that’s not what happened. He healed his son.

I also like that the father did not think it was his job to fix his unbelief. He asked for help. He put the burden of overcoming it on Christ. And more than that, he knew that it was possible to believe and not believe all at once. In the same sentence he claimed both.

I don’t believe some days.

I’m not going to be ashamed of that. I’m just going to ask for a little help.


Chris said...

I own that feeling, that some days I don't believe in Him. Other days, there are things that I believe He can do, but I don't believe He will.

It's tough to justify in my mind that I have placed my hope in Someone and then don't believe in Him.

Hope said...

I have no difficulty believing in Him; I do, however, have difficulty in believing who I am because of Him and that He is interested in the details of my life. One day, that 12" drop from my head to my heart will occur. I believe that.

JJ said...

Good reminder today. That should be a daily prayer for us prodigals. You know, "Help me overcome my unbelief that you can actually keep me on the farm..."

Dan said...

Great post, Jon. I'm right there with you. Oddly, that I can come to God with my doubt is a huge part of why I believe: He's real and raw and cool with wrestling with my heart and mind. I can't help but love that.

Also, great point, Hope.