For those of you who have never doubted God, don't waste your time reading the rest of this post. For others of you like me who have at one time or another doubted God's interest in your life, His plan for you, or even if He exists at all, read on.
Why do we sometimes find it hard to believe in an all-knowing, omnipresent, celestial deity? Could it be we prefer walking by sight? You might say, "If I had been traveling with Moses I could have seen God show up and show out, and it would have erased any doubts I had about God." But God hasn't
parted your Red Sea,
staff into a snake
spoken through your donkey
(or dog or cat). But if He did we wouldn't doubt anymore. Or would we?
The nation of Israel escaped by the skin of their teeth from Pharaoh's army when The Great I Am parted the sea for the people to walk through. If seeing is believing, why did they say to their leader, Moses, "
"Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness?
Do you remember a time you purchased a new car? The new car smell...so clean...such a smooth ride. We're content with the experience and even elated by it. However, six months later when the new has worn off, and we see somebody driving a nicer car, our elation vaporizes and our contentment wanes.
We humans long for that next experience that will exceed our last one. If God does part our Red Sea, then we'll want him to part our Lake Michigan, and then perhaps our Gulf of Mexico. Next thing you know we'll expect Him to cause our cable TV company to render good customer service (sorry, I couldn't resist). Where does it stop? And if he doesn't deliver, you'll begin to doubt His interest in your life or even His existence.
Here's some good news - you're not alone. The Bible is full of accounts of "heroes of the faith" who doubted God. God's prophet Samuel had anointed David king of Israel. Not too long after that we find him holed up in a cave, running for his life, overcome with loneliness and despair. He says to God, "
Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
" Translation - "Where are you God?"
Here's some more good news - doubt is not the same as unbelief. You can't doubt what you don't believe. The atheist is certain that there is no God so there's no reason to doubt. The fact that you and I have doubt means two things; we believe in something, and we're alive! God welcomes doubt and He's very comfortable with it. That's even more good news!
Tune in next week for Part 2, as we continue this discussion about doubt.