“When doubts filled my mind,
your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
~Psalm 94:19 (NLT).
At times I have doubts. We all do. We consider the blemishes of our lives or the lack of progress that’s a little too visible in the present moment, and we stew over them, wondering why life’s not turning out as it should.
The documentary, The Cross (2008), on the ever-durable Arthur Blessitt is inspiring. He’s a man who’d carried his twelve-foot cross all the way around the world, visiting every country, even those war-torn ones in the midst of their bloody conflicts, for instance Beirut and Northern Ireland.
It’s easy to bring up example after example of people like Blessitt, who are modern-day heroes of faith, and thrust them before our doubting hearts, to make us feel ashamed for our so-called ‘lack of faith’.
But what I was most touched about in Blessitt was his softness — not his hardness to endure the physical pain and challenges we’d find both unrelenting and impossible. This guy shed his tears, not simply of joy, but of the heartache of disappointment and despair, also, whilst on his travels.
There must have been plenty of lonely times when he’d have doubted the Lord as any prophet has.
It’s not wrong to doubt. We’re not castigated by God for doubting. If the heroes of faith doubted occasionally it’s going to be okay for us.
The Safe Arms of God
At doubting times, not that we can see them or feel them, those arms of the Lord are still wrapped gently around our worlds. Although we don’t feel safe, we actually are.
Doubting times would be scarier but for this fact, one that we necessarily should always somehow remember, even at our lowest of ebbs — for we all have them.
Comfort is the Lord’s great fortress against hopelessness and despair.
It is ever-dependable and ever-responsive. All we need to do to tap into this great refuge is ask God into our hearts afresh, and be really honest before the Spirit.
It is normal to doubt.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.