August 27, 2007

Faith and doubt, can you have one without the other?

First day of school. The traffic was typically gridlocked in every direction, the last minute lunch accounts were being paid, kids were showing up with parents to see who there teachers were and to find out where to go. It was organized mayhem. I woke up early to get myself ready, fix breakfast, make sure the kids had plenty of time to dress and eat, and my favorite part pray with my kids over their day to come. Somehow I forgot to take the typical first day of school picture. I will get the first day of coming home from school instead.

Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that I love Mother Teresa. I feel so close to her I think of her as a long lost friend who I have never met. As the Catholic church is in the process of recognizing her, maybe sainting her, I am not really sure how all that works, they are gathering her correspondance. Correspondance that shows her innermost feelings, her doubts and the desert she felt she was in for most of her public ministry. I read about this on Mike Cope's blog, here. Mother wanted all of her correspondance destroyed, but the Catholic church refused. Good for them. They wanted it preserved. In the bible we read of the disciples and their inadequacies. They were broken men chosen to spread the name of Jesus. Heal the sick, feed the poor, and tend to the brokenhearted. One of the deceptions that Satan uses, then and now, is to lead us to think that we must be good enough to serve God. We must not doubt, we must not sin, we must know the bible back to front. We look at the people who are on the covers of books, leaders of our bible studies, the voices of the sermons whether we listen to them on t.v., from the pulpit, or downloaded on our computer and then hold those humans in such high regard that we think they do no wrong. Then when someone falls into (or even chooses) sin or voices doubts we start questioning how we feel personally about God because that person in front of us, even though we didn't mean to, we started basing our faith on their faith. We listened to their words foregoing our own relationship with the Lord and our own study of scripture.

I was listening to Beth Moore today on one of my audio cd's and she asked a question. If you were all by yourself on a desert island, you and your bible, having never been taught from another person, how do you think your faith would be different than it is right now. If you were to read God's word and not have the filter of someone else deciding what to apply, what "we" don't believe in, how "we" pray. She talked about the stronghold of unbelief that has taken our country and world. She is not even addressing those outside the church, but those of us who fill the pews.

We can read the bible all we want, but if we don't believe the promises God gives us, if we don't think he is talking to us, or maybe we just skip over some parts here and there, because we don't really do that at our church, what are we limiting ourselves to? God holds promises for us here on earth that will blow our minds, they do mine anyway. If I could just start ordering a plate of the whole counsel of God's word and not just a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread.

Reading about the struggles of Mother Teresa makes her a whole person, not a robot, created by God to do good works. She felt praise for God, elation, despair, hopelessness, encouragement, God's power in her.
I have felt all those feelings in one single day, sometimes even in one millisecond. To God be the glory that He uses such inadequate people to share His love through. I am even more encouraged by Mother, but my faith is based on the hope I have in Jesus Christ, Lord keep my eyes on you.

Faith without doubt, is not faith at all.

1 comments:

Sarah said...

I love these words. God has reminded me so much recently of how He works -- and MIGHTILY -- through "just people". And if any of us think He would never use US -- why do we limit God so? I would love to read some of that from Mother Teresa. No, I don't think you can have faith without doubt. The doubt grows the faith, as tearing down muscle builds muscle.