Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught [Peter]. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
~ Matthew 14: 31
One of the words that I often here when people are describing their faith is the word, "doubt." I think it is the one word that all of us have experienced in our life, and in our faith. Actually, I will be so bold as to say that doubt is the first step of faith.
Jesus faced each day with the knowledge that no matter what miracles, or demonstrations of God's amazing power he exhibited, the disciples still simply doubted.
Having doubts about our faith can be challenging, and for some, it becomes more of a habit, rather than a one-time experience. Self doubt can keep us from seeing in ourselves what God believes us to be.
Doubt can paralyze a dream. It can keep us from realizing our full potential. It keeps us from stepping out, and moving forward. All the while it is often not something we should even consider.
I used to tell folks who would doubt themselves that someone "sold them an idea about something, and that they bought it and believed it to be so."
Doubt begins with a tiny seed. It's like when Peter was called out from the boat onto the water to walk with Jesus. He was doing fine until the seed of doubt began to rise up, "you can't walk on water..."
GLUB! GLUB! GLUB! (Maybe the initial reason that Jesus referred to Peter as the "rock.")
Our ability to overcome doubt is a daily process. It is a refined practice, and is an exercise in faith.
The singer that sings out for the first time before the crowd. The student who finally stands up to the bully. The woman who proclaims enough is enough as she leaves an abusive relationship. It's the echo of the Spirit within our hearts that proclaims, "Yes, you can!"
It's one thing when the Spirit of God says, "Yes!" It's even more powerful when you recognize a gift in someone else and you find the way to help them see what God and others see as well.
Do you know someone who battles with self-doubt? Do you have moments where doubt overwhelms the moment?
Faith may very well be believing in the things that we cannot see, but it is also about overcoming doubt and having courage! Not just belief in ourselves, but in others. In doing so, faith becomes tangible and real!
Doubt is merely a stepping stone to belief!
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.