Sunday, February 20, 2011

Don't be Broken: On Doubt

Ecclesiastes 4:12
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Last night I attended a bible study on the topic of doubt.  It was a very powerful study, asking us to come clean and face the questions in our lives that may be holding us back.  More than anything this evening, the thing that struck me most was an observation by the pastor David Jeremiah.

He noted that through Christian history, the times when men and women doubt the most is when they find themselves in isolation.  He pointed to the doubting moments of Thomas, and John the Baptist and recognized that the height of their doubting was in seasons when they were utterly alone. 

C.S. Lewis the great thinker even agrees that the moments when he felt the greatest doubt was in the moments of being alone.  I think we can all relate to this concept.  There is power in numbers.  The entire sociological theory of group think is based on this idea. 

As Christians, it is easy to find our fears and struggles amplified in the theater of isolation.

I was talking to my friend Steve today.  In a couple of days he and his wife are leaving for a three month journey into the country of Honduras.  They have given up their jobs and their families, in order to follow God's calling.  We were discussing this concept of doubt as he mentioned the prospect of leaving all forms of communication behind.  There is no "doubt" in my mind that he will face the giant of doubt at some point on his trip...

I look back at my life and realize that these moments of isolation were the moments that I found myself questioning both God and myself.  Working alone in the inner city.  Living apart from family and friends.  New cities where I didn't know a soul. 

Is this where God really wants me?
Did I make the right choice?

Is God really listening?  Is He really here?  Does He really care?

Does He even exist?

If you are anything like me, these questions probably come as no surprise.  It is likely that each and every one of us has at one point faced the crossroads of doubt in our lives.  And at the end of the day, doubt is not defined by the questions it asks, but by the answers it seeks. 

For those of you who find ourselves doubting, be assured that the road you are walking on will ultimately merge with the very same road that will lead you to the One you are looking for.  If you follow the road to the very end- Doubt will always lead to deliverance. Though sometimes it may break you in the process of healing you. 

The road of doubt can be quite difficult when you are walking alone...

Don't allow yourself to continue walking as one.  Reach out to those who love you.  Voice your struggles and your questions to your friends, your mentors, and your family.  Find someone who you trust and ask them to share with you in your struggles.  The greatest men and women of all time of faced the obstacle of doubt...and have overcome.  Don't allow your isolation to convince you that the road you are walking on has no end.  Don't allow it to break you.   

One man can be overpowered, two can defend themselves...but a cord of three strands is not easily broken. 

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