Questioning my faith.
I say that not in the sense that I am questioning the system of Christianity or the validity of any of it, but in the sense of wondering where my own faith stands before God. I am wondering if I actually have any faith at all. A couple things struck me last night when I was listening to the radio.
The first thing that struck me was a lady talking about how she came to Christ. She was a college professor and an atheist before she was saved and one of the reasons that she was an atheist was because of her childhood background. Her parents didn’t emphasize spiritual things and really did not even talk with her about God. Her logical conclusion was that if there was a God, He was not important because He wasn’t talked about. And if this god wasn’t important, he must not be real. This particular part of her testimony struck me because I have wrestled with questions of how to raise my daughter in conjunction with my faith.
I realized in a sense that my questions about how to raise little Ayealyn and what to teach her about show me a LOT about my own faith. If God is true and alive, then He must be important, and if He is important I surely shouldn’t even think about hesitating to teach her about HIM!
I looked at my life and I realized that I don’t really live as if God is important. I hear about God being “first”, but I guess I’ve just learned to equate that with the first thing on my to-do list. Once He is “checked off”, then I’m good to move on to other things. Sometimes, I just don’t even start my to-do lists.
But anyways, I’ll come back to that.
The second thing that struck me while I was listening to the radio was a guy talking about Haiti and the recovery efforts of those who are ministering in Haiti. He said something about Christians need to have a long term commitment to the efforts going on in Haiti. The guy didn’t really sugarcoat things either. He wasn’t saying that things will get better for Haiti very fast. The Haitian people will not be able to enjoy an American standard of living for a long time. Perhaps generations.
And you know what the thing is? Just because people aren’t enjoying the same standards of living that I am or even the same blessings that I am enjoying, doesn’t mean God isn’t good. I caught myself wondering what is the point of trying to minister in any one particular area because there are soooo many needs throughout the world. And when I say needs, I don’t mean someone just skipping a meal. I mean the people who are starving! The people who do not have time to “enjoy” life the way I do. The people who aren’t living under a stable roof. The families that toil all day and yet still have to worry about provision.
I hate that people have to go through pain and suffering. I hate when I have to go through pain and suffering. I guess I just hate pain and suffering.
The thing is, I don’t like that God allows pain and suffering to continue seemingly without end! I mean, God is supposed to be good, yet there is someone right now who is dying of hunger. God why didn’t You feed them?
Maybe that seems unrelated to the first thing that I wrote about, but in my heart those two things are so clearly connected. I don’t want to believe in a supposedly “good” God who lets people starve. I want to believe in a God who would provide the comforts of my life for everyone. When it comes down to it, I want God’s goodness to be displayed in this present world. I don’t want to wait for heaven to see His goodness. And yet, in some ways, there are people who have to wait until heaven to feel God’s provision.
For me, that means that I have to believe and have faith with my whole heart that God is good even when I know there are people starving and hurting.
Yes, you might try to remind me that I am the hands and feet of Jesus and I totally agree, but I only have two hands. I am limited and I can’t change the whole world. I can fulfill God’s calling on my life, but I can’t feed the whole world. I have to trust God to do that. When I don’t see Him doing that, I need to trust that He is good all the time. And when I am despairing that His hand is working, I need to know that all the time, HE is good. Circumstances and situations never change who God is, and God is good all the time.
God is good when I don’t understand. God is good when the people around me don’t understand. God is good when others are hurting. God is good when I am hurting. God is good, all the time.
As I said at the beginning of this post, I am questioning my faith because I see my unbelief. I see my pride in thinking I would do things differently if I was God. But at the end of this post, I realize that my biggest need is to know who God is. I need to look up to God and focus on HIM and not on the circumstances around me. Just as Peter could do the impossible (walking on water) when He kept his eyes on Jesus, I can fulfill my calling when I keep my eyes fixed on who my Savior is. When I look at the winds and waves crashing around me, I will sink. The waves didn’t change who Jesus was! The waves only changed what Peter thought Jesus could do!
God is good, all the time.
And all the time, God is good!