The dark side of faith

The dark side of faith

Not everything in faith is easy and breezy and effortless. Even some churches present God as this type of solution. You have problems, ailments, burdens? Come to Jesus and lay them down. But what if they stick around — then what?

What about the unexpected deaths, the ongoing disease, the relational pain within us? What about those deep doubts: What if all this is wrong?

The secrecy

These dark moments aren’t often lauded; they’re barely mentioned. Some people I know take great care to keep their doubts secret. They think that white-knuckling it through is the only way.

Can’t God withstand your doubt? Can’t he stand up to your scrutiny? I say, bring it out into the light. Share it with your community, your trusted friends. Share it with God himself. You’re not alone in your doubt.

God often doesn’t play by the rules we’ve constructed. He surprises us — and not always in a good way. Bad things happen despite our best efforts. We feel tossed by the waves of life. And that’s okay to admit.

Doubting Thomas (and the rest of us)

I believe that Jesus has compassion on us in our doubts. Not anger. Maybe a little frustration — “you of little faith!” — because we are so quick to forget when he has shown up, when we have been rescued. How many times does he have to prove his goodness? Maybe just once more.

At some point, faith is a choice. Just like in marriage when the feelings of love are hard to find. To love and believe is to decide. Feelings don’t always sync up with my decisions. Even in dark circumstances, we can choose to walk this path of faith each day. We can make a choice and continue forward, even in the dark.

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