Recently, I told the God of the Universe that I didn’t have any reason to trust Him.
I didn’t do that eloquently. No, no, no. I was curled up in a ball on my bed in my tiny, hot dorm room, on a Sunday afternoon, silently screaming because God kept insisting that He loved me, and kept sticking people in my life who also insisted they loved me. And I just didn’t believe it.
“I have no reason to trust them… people say all kinds of things they don’t mean, just to get what they want… I don’t want to trust them; better to go it alone… no chance of getting hurt if you stick to yourself and don’t let anyone in… oh God, wait… I feel this way about You too, don’t I?”
“God… I don’t want to let You love me.”
“Oh my word – did I just tell GOD that I didn’t want to let Him love me?”
And then I recalled the scripture “I have promised never to leave or forsake you.”
“Well yes, you promise that, but how do I know that you’ll keep your promises?”
Another half-second pause.
“Oh my word – I just told GOD that I didn’t trust Him. I don’t trust Him! Can I say that? That’s awful! How can I say that or think that or… but I do!”
And as I calmed down, I began thinking about Old Testament stories, how God led the Israelites out of Egypt and captivity and to the Promised Land… and then I thought about Jesus. I thought about it in a new way though. My next statement was much less angst-filled, and more surprised…
“God… you impregnated a young teenage girl from the bad part of the country just to keep Your promise to Your people to bring them a Savior. Now… people probably had a lot to say about that… probably thought You went about it in a weird or bad way… thought that maybe it didn’t make sense… maybe even criticized you. Do something more socially acceptable… but You risked all of that. ALL of that. To keep Your promises to Your people.”
And then I sat up.
“God keeps His promises.”
I looked around my room, not really seeing anything, but thinking and feeling this truth in a way that I never had before, albeit hearing it hundreds of times growing up in Sunday school and VBS.
“I can trust You. You keep Your promises.”
It wasn’t anything spectacular or mystical or miraculous. But I know I was praying, talking with God, and He was the one that brought these thoughts to my mind. It had nothing to do with my own doing.
A few months ago, I was down to just this belief: God exists. The rest, I just wasn’t sure of. But now, as I have been honest with God about my doubts, and have been earnestly seeking to discover who He actually is… I have begun to build truth upon truth, that I have always been taught, but now believe in such a more real and genuine way.
Perhaps in order to have faith, I really do need to doubt?
Paradoxical, but then when has God ever made sense?