It’s laughable that I’m writing about faith right now because I am in the middle of a serious faith crisis. I hit a place about two months ago where I could no longer ignore the confusion and doubt and fear intertwined with my faith. It’s not an intellectual doubt about the historical Jesus or the reliability of the Bible. I couldn’t even tell you exactly what I’m doubting, only that my way of understanding who Jesus is and what following him means is shifting. And it is painful.
So I am maybe the exact wrong person to be writing this. Or maybe not….
Something occurred to me the other day about many of the stories of people who came to Jesus for healing during his ministry. He would heal and then often say that their faith had healed them, and even compliment them on their great faith. But all they did is come and ask him to heal them. They didn’t, that we know of, fast and pray for days before they came. They didn’t have a well-developed theology on healing and miracles. They were just desperate. They were sick, their daughter was about to die, they were blind. They thought maybe he could and would help. And Jesus calls this faith.
I heard someone say this week that doubt is not the opposite of faith, inactivity is the opposite of faith. The kind of faith that Jesus sees in the people he healed is not intellectual certainty. If certainty were a high priority to God, I think he would have to do some serious editing of the Bible. Faith is believing, or sometimes just hoping, enough to move towards something. To take a step.
So here is what faith looks like in this season of doubt for me. I set an alarm each night so that I can wake up before my kids. In the morning I [usually] get out of bed and go downstairs and sit on my couch. I close my eyes and I try to imagine Jesus with me, because he said that he is. And then I just sit there. I have not had the courage to read my bible, or even to say much to Jesus. But I have enough faith to hope, though not without doubts, that He cares enough to sit for a few minutes with me and my fear and my doubt. I’m not disciplined, certain or devoted. I’m desperate.