The devil’s workshop is draped with doubt and fear. Through these he tortures our souls and slows our progress. On a good day, we keep these twin terrors in check, but when life goes terribly wrong, they turn volatile.
As shared previously, my baseline encounter with doubt and fear accounts for approximately 10% of my faith experience. I don’t mean to suggest I am immune from daily fluctuations between doubt, fear and certainty, but this is how I describe my perspective on a good day.
I must also qualify that doubt and fear are not actually a part of my faith, but rather captives to my faith. They are the uninvited thugs I tolerate because they seem impossible to completely eradicate. I have not agreed to let them stay, but like cockroaches they seem to hide in the recesses of my soul and survive even my most ambitious counterattacks. I have not necessarily learned to live with them, as much as I have acknowledged their presence and determined the things I am unable to resolve will not keep me from anchoring my life in those things I can.
During my teen years I lived in a town on the Gulf of Mexico. In those days, we didn’t buy sunscreen. We bought suntan oil, and baked our skin on a daily basis. No one thought about skin cancer. But now they do. And so do I when I spend a little too much time in the sun and red bumps appear on my arms to remind me I did not escape the sun and fun of my youth unscathed.
So it is with doubt and fear. Like damaged cells they sleep dormant in our hearts and minds until an unplanned trial triggers them. At that point they encroach on our certainties and shake our faith, creating pressure against the things we thought we understood.
What doubts and fears do you believe sleep in your heart? What kinds of trials bring them to the surface?
Dear God, help me be ready for the struggles that stir my doubts and fears. In Jesus’ name, Amen.