This past weekend I was struggling with doubt. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed about life, and I prayed, “Lord, show me you are real. I can’t see it.” This is a common problem I have – I regularly experience crises of faith. I am going along ok, and then I lose it – doubt creeps in, and I let it take root. I’ve just been feeling that I am in the midst of a full-fledged spiritual battle, and I am losing. My mom reminded me on Monday that the prophets, Paul, and even Jesus himself looked defeated from the outside when they were about to be great victors. Let’s hope that’s what going on with me (but I’m no prophet or Paul!).
I’ve been reading Radical by David Platt, and it’s been firing me up! It’s so good thus far. The premise is that the American Dream (work hard/our ability = security, rewards, STUFF, comfort) has crept into American Christianity and is directly opposed to the gospel. This liberal, watered-down gospel says that you are great, God loves you, and just wants to be a part of your life. Thus, we tell people to “accept” Jesus (gag me!) and then they will live a happy, comfortable life. The TRUE gospel says that God hates us, and we need him. Also, when you surrender and place your trust in God, life gets ugly hard. As Mark Driscoll says, we worship a homeless guy who got murdered. Following him is never easy (but it’s SO worth it). I love this because it makes me feel so much more secure in my struggle. I think I spend too much time looking at casual Christians, who don’t seem to be struggling, so then I start to doubt, thinking that I’m doing something wrong. But the Bible shows me that the struggle is what it’s all about. Jesus was not particularly happy, definitely not comfortable, and was battling his whole ministry. I suppose that’s what I should be expecting in my own life if I’m a Christian.
This is not to ignore grace. Certainly there is grace – so much grace – abundant grace! God does love me and does bless me in more ways than I can count. Honestly, the fact that I wake up in the morning and live my 1% life is a pure, undeserved miracle. God is SO present in this struggle. Sometimes I lose sight of this because I’m just not looking. I’m looking inward instead of outward – I want to “feel” better, but the cure is outside myself. Then, God gives me grace, even when I am still whining and wrestling. On Monday, we got an email from our case worker stating that one of our docs came in from the DRC government! Wahoo! It’s not much, but it’s something. God is real, and He’s right here.