These days I find myself longing to come full circle. Faith is a simple matter when you're ten years old. Jesus is real. You ask Him to come into your heart. He does; you absolutely know He does. You listen to the stories, memorize the verses, pray without a shadow of a doubt and walk with a certainty that God is in His heaven and all is right with your little world.
Life has a way of taking the simple and making it complex. Eyes that once saw through a haze of innocence are suddenly open to the evil all around. Injustice, pain, poverty, violence and a host of other frightening circumstances wear away at a child-like faith that never thought of asking why. Before long the questions outweigh the answers, and doubt gains a strong foothold.
Have you ever started to pray and been assailed by thoughts that questioned His very existence - or at least the idea that He hears your particular voice. How is it possible? What if a million, billion other people were praying at the exact same time? And if it's true that He does hear and answer prayer, why didn't He answer mine - the one that was a matter of life and death? If He is a loving God, then why does He allow such suffering in His world? How do I reconcile a good God with the poverty and hunger that kills little children?
I know the answer. Truly I do. But sometimes those doubts come unbidden on an ordinary summer morning when all I want to do is pray. It is at those times I cry out to Him for my old faith - the one that never questioned and simply knew.
We have been through this before - many times - my Father and I. He has always, only asked one thing of me - trust. He never berates me for the doubts that seem to come of their own accord, unwelcome and disturbing. He simply waits as I remember and look around me. See the miracle of creation and know it couldn't possibly have come with a sudden bang. See His Son and know that He was either the promised Messiah or a world class liar. Remember that He is; that His word has never failed; that He loves me.
Trust - it is the very heart of the matter for me. I stand with the twelve when Jesus asks the heart-breaking question and echo Peter's words:
After this a lot of his disciples left. They no longer wanted to be associated with him. Then Jesus gave the Twelve their chance: "Do you also want to leave?"
Peter replied, "Master, to whom would we go? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We've already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God."
John 6: 66-69 (The Message)
I believe that He is - even when the doubts force their way in. I pray for child-like faith.
linking with sweet friend Em