From my spot at the kitchen sink, I watched a car pull up to the house. My son hopped out, raced through the kitchen door and back towards his bedroom on some unidentified mission. A few moments later he ran back up the hall and through the kitchen, grabbing a piece of pizza from the counter as he passed.
“Hold it!,” I yelled, “Don’t you go out there with that pizza unless you are going to bring enough for your friends! You know our rule!…you don’t eat in front of friends. If there isn’t enough to go around, you don’t eat it either.”
He laughed, waved goodbye with the pizza, and sprinted out the door, leaving me to wonder how I had managed to raise such heathen children.
At that point, Travis, who had been observing, looked at me seriously and asked, “Mom, would you ever treat your friends like that?” then after a moment’s pause, ‘If you had any friends?”
Now, I had to stop for a moment and think about that. Truthfully, I am not a complete wench. I have relatively good manners, I almost always say “please” and “thank you,” I clean up nicely, and I’m usually not an embarrassment in public. I like people, I’m a peace maker, and I’m trying to get better at returning my phone messages. I tell you this so you can believe that I really do have friends.
It’s just that in order to simplify things on my end, we usually meet during the day while Travis is in school, or in the evening, after he has gone to bed. Since he hasn’t really seen my friends, he assumed I didn’t have any.
That’s not an uncommon phenomenon. Remember in the Bible when Thomas didn’t believe Jesus had risen because he hadn’t seen Him? When he finally did see Jesus, of course he believed. And Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
We have it even tougher than Thomas, because we’ve never had the opportunity to sit down at the dinner table and talk with Jesus face to face. We must rely entirely on our faith .
But here’s the thing— it’s easy to believe when life is good. It’s when things get tough that we can begin to doubt God’s love, or our worthiness. But remember, faith is a gift, it’s not a feeling. Just because you’re not feeling God’s love at the moment, does not mean He’s isn’t there loving you. Just because you have doubts doesn’t mean you don’t have faith. It means you need to nourish your faith so will you have strength during difficult times
Jesus promised us that if we believe in Him even though we have not seen, we will be blessed. Seems to me like a benefit that’s worth the fight.
So when you doubt, resist it. Journal, write a letter to God, talk to your friends, to your pastor, or to a spiritual director. And pray. As Mark says in his gospel, “Lord, I believe; but help me in my times of unbelief!”
What do you do when you begin to feel doubts?