Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Love and Seek even when in Doubt

   A couple weeks ago we had a teaching at our church gathering on "doubt". It was asked if anyone in the congregation ever struggled with this issue and nearly everyone had a hand in the air, and the others  that didn't raise a hand, well.... they are dealing with another issue called "honesty"!         We've all struggled with doubt at some point in our walk with God and if we are truly being honest we've struggled with it more than once.
 Anyone who has known me for awhile knows that I deal with chronic pain in several areas of my spine due to an auto accident several years ago, and fibromyalgia. There have been days throughout this 12 year struggle that I have awoke in the morning to feeling as if a semi ran me over in my sleep and I don't know how I will make it through the day. And, many times plans will have to be altered or canceled altogether because no matter how hard I try or how much I pray, relief just doesn't come. The nights when I can't sleep because the spasms are so intense and I cry out to God for relief and it just doesn't happen, doubt begins to set in and take hold and I wonder if God even hears me. And if he does, why isn't He responding?
 I hear of struggles that others are going through as well and my heart breaks for them because I know they too, no matter how things appear on the outside, I know when things are looking bleak, doubt is sitting right there, ready to pounce.
Right after hearing Rebekah speak on this topic of doubt I was reminded of a teaching at a women's gathering on Matthew 11 . It says here that "while imprisoned John heard of the works of Christ" and he sent word to Jesus by his disciples to ask, " are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else"?
 There is such a desperation in Johns voice! And he was Doubting! I believe John believed Jesus was going to rescue him from prison and as his wait became longer he  began to doubt if Jesus was the Messiah! John! John the Baptist! The very one who in Matthew 3 we learn baptised Jesus! John touched Jesus in the flesh! Baptised Him! He witnessed" the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him!"v16  And he heard the rumble of Gods voice say, "This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased"! v17
 John experienced all of this, he touched, he saw, he heard and still later......he doubted!
 I can sit and think, Oh my how could he ever doubt after all he experienced? But, then again, I should ask myself the same question.
 I don't know why relief doesn't come when I am suffering with spasms and pain, and I don't know why others receive healing and I am still waiting for mine. But, I do know that God has given me the strength to get through those times and I am still here to serve Him. I still know where my life was years ago without Him, and where I am now with Him. I still remember all the strength He has given me to get through some of the most trying times of my life and the lessons He has taught me through those times. I know as long as I am on this earth I will not completly understand His ways of doing things, and I'm good with that, but I will never stop trying. Proverbs 8:17 says-" I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find Me".
I am in a place of resting right here in this verse- Loving Him-and Seeking Him. I believe if I never falter from these two things doubt will lessen it's hold, and the guilt from doubting will go away, others expectations and opinions of me will no longer matter. And  I am being completly honest here I admit sometimes this is my greatest struggle. When others make comments about what I "should be doing" or if I had more faith God would carry me through that and I could do more. If I don't show up at this event or that event it's assumed I'm either less social or loving and faltering from my faith or my walk with the Lord is weak or immature. Many times that's when I sit back and doubt God, because after all, if these other Godly people are getting the strength to "do" all this why am I not?
This is where my faith is put to the test, Do I believe or don't I? Do I truly believe that this unconditional love He has shown me is real?  I choose to rest in Him and Him Alone! Am I here to please others? Or my God, that I have come to know?
I choose to believe in what He has already shown me- He knows me- He loves me- and He will give me all the strength I need for each day just like He has been doing, walking hand in hand, side by side, with me, All the way, even in the pain, I feel Him! He is real!
The next time I am in the middle of a struggle and doubt comes knocking I will rely on God to help me remember and still believe!
I pray all of us will sense His love so so close today and that alone will carry us, no matter what the day may bring, even if it's doubt.