Doubt Is An Element Of Faith…

Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith. Paul Tillich

Meditation: When we experience painful events like death, divorce, sudden loss or trauma, it feels like “God’s right hand has changed”. We do not recognize the God anymore who we once believed in, who we trusted and even delighted in. It is like we are losing our naiveté; like our childhood faith is being wiped away. God had been an unquestioned presence, but suddenly becomes a stranger. Some Christians try to prevent this experience from happening. Some say that having doubts means being far from God. However, doubt is not the opposite of faith, but an important and necessary element of it. Doubting shows that something is essential to me and has been put into question. Doubting is the wonderment if God can still be trusted after all that has happened. The Psalmist acknowledges his grief “that God has changed”, and at the same time says: “I will remember”… Just like the spouse of a person who has dementia sometimes doubts if there is any love left between them, the very act of remembering the other person how he/she was before the loss of memory can restore a sense of love and connection. Yes, doubt is part of faith. To remain faithful and hopeful we need to go through times of doubt. As the valley experience is naturally part of the mountain experience, doubting is part of the experience of faith.

Prayer: God, in our dark hours and our “night of the soul”, when doubt grabs us as if there was no morning, as if life and love have ended, help us to remember. We shall remember those times when You have sustained us, moments that were true and built on love and on trust. We will meditate on how You, God, have held us in the midst of strive. And we are doubtful and thankful at the same time. Amen

Then I said, “It is my grief, that the right hand of the Most High has changed.” I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work And muse on Your deeds. Psalm 77:10