It wasn’t what she said. Her words were actually taken out of context. If we had just been talking a Biblical defense I would have been fine. It was because she was the one who said it. A person I love and admire. A woman who has taught me and mentored me.
All of the sudden I didn’t know anymore. Could I do this? Was I wrong? I felt physically ill from a spiritual earthquake.
Because doubt is real.
Doubt can serve a powerful purpose if we let it. It can shake us; make us loose our footing or it can pave the way for walking on a solid foundation.
You see, this is about asking hard questions. This is mostly it is about the platforms that we stand on. We all have them. They are the places from which we look to make decisions, to chart our course, to view the world.
Platforms are inherited, gifted, built, and occasionally even stumbled upon. Whether we do it intentionally or not these scaffolds that we climb shape our lives.
Most often when the doubt creeps in, I start chanting the part line. Reminding myself why I do what I do. Why I believe what I believe. Sometimes, you just need a good reminder.
But what if we did it differently? Doubt can't always be brushed aside. We can't always "Faith" it away all by ourselves. What if we pressed in? What if we saw doubt as a chance to see His Glory?!?
Occasionally, we need a serious foundation check. For me, it came in that moment in which women I respected, loved, and trusted weren’t supporting what I was doing.
If a voice you know to be a truth-speaker shakes your foundation, it might be time to ask hard questions. Not necessarily because we are wrong, but because avoiding confronting the hard questions leaves us drowning in doubt.
It leaves us with a weaker god than the God who spoke the foundations of the Earth into being.
“Immediately the father of the boy cried out, "I do believe! Help my unbelief." Mark 9:24
We serve a God who isn’t afraid of our doubts and insecurities. Our Creator God who built the mountains and filled the seas can do so much better than chant the party line. He can shift paradigms and perspectives, He can reveal and recall. When the doubt creeps up from a trusted place, press into that doubt because where you are weak, He will show Himself strong.
Because one of three things will happen:
You will be wrong. It may just be when you hop of that platform to check the structure, you will find out that it is completely man-made, and not particularly well at that. This has happened to me over and over again in my faith, my family, and my politics. I actually had my views on race flipped upside down by a fifteen-year old boy of all people. Turns out that, for me that was a significant change that has profound consequences. You can step off that shaky man-built platform before it sends you hurtling toward the ground.
You will be on the right platform…with the wrong way of getting up there. It may just been that the scaffolding that you are climbing is in a place of righteousness, but in an effort to scale the sides, you have loosened a few screws. I had to set hard boundaries in a relationship once, and it nearly killed me with doubt. It turns out the boundaries were right in line with what God wanted me to do, but I was harboring so much bitterness and unforgiveness that I needed some serious repentance. Our humility tightens the screws, it smooths the foundations. Those boundaries had to stay in place, but my heart had to move.
You will not be shaken. Every once in a while people that you respect, love, and trust will think you are crazy. They will be sure that you have wandered down a wrong path or somehow stumbled. You will question yourself. You will desperately scramble off of your platform in an effort to please. You will check your structure. You will inspect every board, every screw, and every nail…and you will find that it has been built by The Carpenter. The One who was before the world began. And you will start climbing those hard steps back up to your platform where you will not be shaken by doubt or misgiving, because you already brought the hard questions before God. You stand more firmly because you know that you checked the foundations.
So, when the earthquakes happen. When you feel the world swaying beneath your platform, don’t be afraid to check. Don’t be afraid to press into doubt.
“I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.” Isaiah 46:10