Have you ever felt like you were stuck? I have a friend who says he wishes he could believe in God but he’s just not “feeling it”. He says he needs a sign.
I have another friend who is considering her faith in God and realizes she doesn’t know what to believe. There are things about faith and God and organized religion that don’t sit well with her.
Sometimes it’s easier to say “no”.
If you are in that place of being not sure if you believe, think of what you do believe. Start with the positive. Think of the “yes” things. And then take a step to learn more. It’s not like one day everything about God is going to be crystal clear and you are going to believe it wholeheartedly forever. It’s a process. There are times of challenge for even the most faithful among us. Remember the controversy over Mother Theresa’s book when we found out that there were times she had doubts and fears?
I think what’s so frustrating is that we are trying to figure God out. (As if we ever could.) We are using human terms to try to understand an infinite God.
We simply cannot do it.
So, of course we are stuck. Of course some things don’t sit well with us. I have another friend who is just completely turned off by religion because of some things Christians have said to her over the years. There have been times that has happened to me too. A person says something that offends me and so I get mad at God. Does that make sense?
What people say about God does not define God.
As Christians, we try to get it right when we talk about God and Jesus and Creation and Salvation and Forgiveness and Redemption and Reconciliation and Grace. (That’s a tall order!) We try to “make disciples of nations” and often, we fail. Sometimes, we offend. I admit there are times when I’ve tried to comfort someone and my words have come off trite. My friend says there is “nothing worse than false piety”. But all of these things speak of human frailty and have nothing to do with God’s majesty.
Haven’t you ever had a friend that you love and you hear someone else describe him and what they say is not at all what you think of that person? I don’t like it when I’m about to meet someone new and another person starts to tell me all about the person I’m going to meet. I would rather not know anything going in. I’d like a clean slate. I’ll make up my own mind about this person when I get to know her.
It’s the same with God. We have to know God personally and to do that we have to say “yes”. We have to take a baby step that will lead to another baby step and then we will forge a path. A path that is ours alone, a path that is new and unique and authentic…a path that feels right and even when it curves and bends, we adapt and stick with it because we can feel that we are headed home.
What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.
C. S. Lewis