Dealing with Doubt

“Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hands in his side, I will not believe.” – John 20:25, RSV

The Sunday after Easter, we read the story of Thomas after the resurrection, and it posed a serious question. Is it okay to doubt God? Whether we doubt in His existence or doubt in what he is doing in our life, is it okay to doubt Him?

Let me start off immediately by saying, it is completely normal to doubt. We are rational and experiential beings. Our entire lives revolve around what we can comprehend. Then, we accepted Jesus Christ into our lives. Our limited minds have taken in that which is unlimited. The finite has welcomed in the infinite.

It only makes sense that at some point in our walk with Christ, doubt will come into play. St. John of the Cross described this time in our life as The Dark Night of the Soul. A time when our spiritual life is at its lowest, and we no longer see God where we once did.

In 2017, I spent the summer working as a Chaplain in a Trauma 1 Center in Oklahoma City. Every day, death and pain were all around me. People were constantly losing their loved ones to car accidents or finding out their child had cancer.

One day, a mother had just lost her daughter who was hit by a car while riding her bike. I walked into the room in my clericals, and immediately the mother started yelling at me, “GET OUT! I do not want to see a man who will follow a god who would do this to my baby girl.”

Out of respect, I gave her space. But it was a sincere response. How do we handle our faith when the worst things happen, and God no longer feels present? I had a chance to see the mother later that day, and this time she allowed me to speak with her. I responded to her previous statement with another story from my time in the hospital.

I met a woman in the hospital who had just found out that her cancer had advanced, and she only had about six months to live. As I talked to her, I also found out that her husband had died two months prior.

I asked her about her faith and how she was dealing with everything that was going on. She responded with words that will never leave me. She said, “My faith is as strong as ever. So many people turn away from God, but I don’t get it. I could never endure this without Him.”

This lady on her deathbed understood how we fight doubt. Those times we feel like God has abandoned us are the times that he is closest to us. He doesn’t leave us when we face the dark night, He is right there, helping us find our way if we let him.

Next time you find yourself dealing with doubt, I recommend reading Psalm 22, the psalm that Jesus alluded to as he hung from the Cross. It begins “my god, my god, why have you forsaken me,” but ends with the Psalmist proclaiming the glory of God.
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Will - May 8th, 2022 at 2:48pm

Great teaching. Thanks!

Becky Napier - June 5th, 2022 at 5:17pm

I loved the reminder of this sermon and this message. Thank you Father.