Thursday, May 13, 2010

Backyard Gethsemane

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

In an effort to keep up with what my son is learning in school and help with homework I read the books required for his literature class. While on vacation, the current novel was Life of Pi by Yann Martel. An interesting tale with much to recommend it.  Following is a passage worth remarking on. 

On our Christian walk, we come across moments of doubt; situations in our lives that make us wonder and question. Yann Martel addressed the topic from an interesting perspective:

“Doubt is useful for a while. We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane. If Christ played with doubt, so must we. If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer, if He burst out from the Cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” then surely we are also permitted doubt. But we must move on. To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.” Life of Pi, pg. 36.

Doubt is inevitable. When it visits it must be recognized and addressed but it cannot be allowed to stay. Faith cannot grow when doubt is present.  One is essentially the opposite of the other. Doubt hesitates to believe where faith is belief based not on proof. 

The last line of Yann's quote is the pivotal statement, "To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation."  Faith moves us forward towards the work Christ calls us to do and doubt keeps us standing still questioning the call. As mature Christians we know that God is going to call us out of our comfort zone.  He will move us forward but He also gives us the choice to stand still. 

We can move forward because of the assurance of the Holy Spirit.  John 14:16, 26 16"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." Don't let doubt lock you in place.  Don't deceive yourself into thinking that your doubt is deepening your faith. Christ understands our frailties and has provided the Holy Spirit to see us through our doubt. 

Be sure of what you hope for, be certain of what you do not see; have faith.

Check the health of your spiritual heart.

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  1. Doubt has tried to take up residence here quite often in the past two and a half years. You are so right because having doubt does not make my faith grow at all. Quite the opposite. It's when I choose to believe and have faith despite what the chaos is doing to my life that I feel stronger and know that God is still working out the plan for me:)

  2. Being able to identify doubt and what is generating it is a sign of growth. Being able to turn it over and let God deal with it is a sign of maturity. Both come from time and practice. Thank God He is willing to be patient with us.

  3. You wrote this 2 weeks ago and it has been an open window on my laptop for almost that long...and I just read this! I love spoke to my heart about issues I know the Lord is leading me to deal with yet I have doubted I could accomplish. I've been paralysed due this doubt and have been trying to figure out WHY I can't move. It's because I doubt myself AND God!!!! And I just got it because of this post!!

    Thank you, thank you!! Sure wish we were lots closer so we could have deep convos on a regular basis!!

    Love ya Sally!

  4. Libby, you are a writer's joy. It is a blessing to see how God uses His saints to speak to one other. Reach out anytime, I'm here.