Monday, April 24, 2017

“I Believe, Help My Unbelief”
“During my junior year in college, I took a butter knife from my mother’s kitchen and scraped the Christian fish decal off the back bumper of the Plymouth hatchback I’d inherited from my older brother. Stripping off that sticker foreshadowed the day, a few years later, that I would walk out of church.”
These are the first sentences of an article I read a few years ago by Andrea Palpant Dilley, entitled, “MY FAITH: RETURNING TO CHURCH, DESPITE MY DOUBTS.” For years, Dilley wrestled with many faith questions, such as: 
“Why does the church seem so culturally insulated and 
“Why does God seem distant and uninvolved?”
“Why does God allow suffering?” 

Years later in her faith struggle, Andrea Dilley found peace in the following insights: 1) her doubt belonged IN church, and 2) her doubt was actually part of her faith!  She goes on to say…
“With all its faults, I still associate the church with the pursuit of truth and justice, with community and shared humanity. It’s a place to ask the unanswerable questions and a place to be on sojourn. No other institution has given me what the church has:a space to search for God.  In Mark 9:24, a man says to Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief.” ..... “I  pray that prayer often and believe that God honors my honesty.”
What are your doubts? 
What questions are you asking God?
The ancient prophet, Habakkuk, complained to the God who allowed the devastation of his people at the hands of the Babylonians: "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?" (Habakkuk 1:3). Jesus cried from the cross,"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46).

We are called to “walk by faith” but that doesn’t mean we will never doubt.  We are called “to be strong and courageous” but that doesn’t mean we will never be afraid.  The church is a community of souls, set aside for God’s holiness and good work -- to bring Him glory, even in our times of fear and doubt.  God can take your questions.  He is in the business of growth and transformation!  “I believe, help my unbelief!”                           God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Mr. Steve