Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Honest Doubt

“Everything is possible for him who believes” (Mark 9:23, NIV 1984).

I still carry the vivid memory of the northwest corner of my room where the walls met the ceiling. It was into that corner that I stared into the stark possibility of nothingness. For 10 years I had been practicing as a Christian doctor and now was headed for the mission field, with honest doubt. When I die, will I really live again?

In the ninth chapter of Mark, a father begs Jesus to save his son from the demons who repeatedly threw him into the fire. When Jesus says, “Everything is possible for him who believes,” the father answers, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark 9:23-24, NIV 1984).
When I was 30, I had faith enough to take my family to Nigeria, but not enough to overcome the repeated visions of nothingness in the corner of my room.
What’s that all about? I have no idea.
That fear of that nothingness is now gone. And it is gone, not because I figured it out and not because I revved my faith up more.
My doubt over the truth of my resurrection diminished only when I passed through a trial in life where God alone could save me, and He did. My doubt resolved when I fell without hope and landed in the arms of my Creator. My doubt dissolved with the feel of those arms catching me. My doubt resolved, not because I reasoned things out better, but because I trusted more the God who is in charge of my resurrection.
More doubts will come, even greater doubts will likely come, but God will work with me through those as well. He won’t be mad at my honest doubt. He won’t even frown. He will show Himself again in a new way and my faith will grow once more.

Dear God,
Please use my doubts to draw me closer to you and to the work you have for me to accomplish.

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