Confessions of a Questioning Christian
Is God even real?
My heart pounded as I allowed myself to ask this question. It's not necessarily one that is foreign to me, but generally I don't allow myself to ask it. My head ached and I desperately searched my mind for answers.
Why do I believe in God?
How can it be true that the God of the Universe put skin on, walked around with a bunch of rag-tag humans, and then died for all of humanity?
Is God real?
Is He even real?
It started with prayer. To be honest, I've been struggling lately with prayer. It's hard to talk to Him sometimes. It's hard to quiet my brain to know what to say. But if I truly believe what I say that I do- that the Creator of all Things is Love and prayer gives us free access to His ear, His heart, His unfailing love, then why am I struggling? Why can I not see the crazy awesome gift this is?
My faith must be so weak,
I am tempted to think.
And here I am again.
Is God even real?
My first instinct, as always, is to squash it. Tuck it away into the dusty recesses of my mind and forget that it is even a question to be asked. Ignore it. Don't let it creep up. Because this question shatters everything I have built my life upon. Don't bring it up to other Christians. They will question the validity of your beliefs. Your reputation will be tarnished. Your faith is a rock, you always come back to this, don't question, just stuff back inside.
Heart pounding. Breath quickening.
Is God real?
I come home and pour my heart out to my husband, who, in grace and wisdom, welcomes my words with open arms.
I've struggled with those questions too, he says, and suddenly the fear dissipates.
Why is our first instinct to hide our doubts? Why do we associate questioning with shame?
David did it.
Peter did it.
Thomas did it.
C.S. Lewis did it.
Lee Strobel did it.
I guarantee most of you reading have done it too. Maybe those questions are still racing in your thoughts. Maybe you are too afraid to let them surface.
But maybe questioning is the bravest thing you could do. Maybe getting nitty gritty with the tough stuff lets God prove His mighty power once again in our hearts and in our minds. Maybe stuffing these thoughts deep down into the abyss like dirty secrets is toxic. Maybe embracing questions should be apart of a life filled with deep faith.
The minutes that your mind can't fathom the idea of spirituality may turn into hours or days or months or even years. You may wrestle. Your soul may be in angst. You may cry out how long, Oh God?! But never, not even for one second, shame yourself into believing that God can't handle your questioning. Never, for one second, believe that wondering equals a lack of perseverance. And never ever think that you are the only one who is in the thick of the battle.
Jesus invites us to ask these hard questions. I see Him beckoning, inviting us to come closer, dig deeper, push further. I hear Him assuring us, telling us that He is using the flood of questions to bring us deeper into His heart. Because every relationship worth having comes with some struggle. Because in the process, we are invited into a sacred place- one full of fervent respect and utmost surrender.