Is it really OK to doubt your faith in God?
In the church one day, I asked a four-year-old, “What do you think about God? Is God funny, tall, short, old?”
“All!” he replied.
“Is God nice?” I asked him.
He replied, “I think so, but I’m not sure!”
And I thought, “Speak your truth, young man. Speak. Your. Truth.”
If someone stood up in church this Sunday and asked everyone who’d ever doubted their faith in God to raise their hands, I wonder how many hands we’d see in the air?
All of them, I would imagine.
And I feel like that's OK.
It is OK to doubt. Thomas doubted. The disciples doubted.
Yet, God was big enough to take on that doubt.
Maybe we should be more like children who aren't afraid to share their thoughts. That is where faith comes in! We don't have to have it all figured out. Things don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to think about doing everything right so we can get some sort of reward once our life on Earth is over. We can doubt everything and yet have faith that everything will be OK.
Once, when I was having doubts about God, I spoke to a friend who works for a Christian nonprofit and he shared that he doesn’t do good works in order to get his on the other side. But rather he follows Jesus Christ, who promises to be with him until the very end.
Now, that is life-changing.
There are lots of things about Christianity and the Bible that cause doubt.
Was there really an Ark?
Did Jonah really get swallowed by a fish?
Did Paul and the apostles really perform all those miracles?
Is there really a hell? (But, really, is there?)
Getting caught up in these questions can cause a lot of doubt, and that’s OK! It is so important to ask these kinds of questions. God is big enough to take on these questions.
Friends, I think there is a special kind of vulnerability that comes with saying “I don’t know” or “I think so, but I’m not sure.” There is something sacred and beautiful about that.
I will end with a quote from Rachel Held Evans:
“I am a Christian,” I concluded, “because the story of Jesus is still the story I’m willing to risk being wrong about.”
That is vulnerable. That is real. And that is a quote I cling to.
The story of Jesus is not one that makes us think about taking care of our own needs on the other side. The story of Jesus is not one that puts the focus on us.
What the story of Jesus puts the attention on is our neighbors and how we love them here and now with the faith that everything is and will be OK.
Now, that is where I want to put my energy. That story is what I want to put all my chips on.
I have doubts, but I have a story I can put it all on.
And what a story it is.