Believe It…or Not.
“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” (1 Kings 19:11-13)
At the time of this encounter with God, some wonder if Elijah was burned out. Maybe even struggling with doubt.
I heard a couple of young seminary guys discussing this story on the bus last week. It seems having doubt about faith to some people isn’t an option. Or, as one of the guys said, “some wear their doubt as a badge of honor and even dismiss those who do not struggle in that way.”
Good point. I do see that sometimes.
Still, the account of Elijah—a pillar of power and emblem of obedience in the Bible—is one that shows the raw realities of walking with the living God, this God who rules nature and personally whispers our name.
I feel intensely certain that doubt is the twin of great faith. Not in and of itself, but as a byproduct of simply living on this messy earth.
For Elijah—faced with the likes of Jezebel and a host of armies and prophets of Baal to confront (See 1Kings 18 and 19)—his shock, or relief, or ever-growing amazement with God, all fit a man who—has an authentic, vibrant, vital relationship with the living, active God.
Walking with God in power and authority is not the absence of unbelief. In that case, check your emotions at the door! While you’re at it, include your brain and throw away the key!
No, take doubt and use it. Here’s are some thoughts on how:
Let doubt open you up to God showing Himself to you in a new way.
Let doubt cause you to release what must be. Fall on God. Just release yourself into Him.
Allow yourself to be ok with doubt. You’re ok. God can handle this.
When doubt turns, and God does reveal Himself, you’ll discover He’s not what you expected, but bigger, and more amazing and closer than you ever dreamed.
An aside: My son, David started chemotherapy last Friday. And so it begins…
I’m real because God is so real.