Do Christian’s doubt? Do they have dark days where they feel uncertain of God’s sovereignty and goodness? The answer is: absolutely yes.
Today was one of those days for this Christian. I originally blamed my mood on the impending doom of menstruation. I always reach a low point a few days before the crimson tide and so when I woke up feeling a little on edge, uncertain, and dissatisfied I was reassured by the grinding pain in my lower back and burning ache in my loins that it was purely hormonal. I read about the Proverbs 31 woman as part of my morning devotional and set my gaze upon success for the day. I tried to continue with my to-do list despite this flooding tide of negativity that was coming upon me. I felt inadequate and overwhelmed. I was getting depressed.
My husband came home from work and I asked him to help me decipher what was going on. I didn’t want to admit it, but I had a sneaking suspicion that this was about more than hormones. He guided me through a discussion of how I was feeling and where these feelings were coming from. I began to realize I was struggling with the same sense of nothing’s ever good enough from before. WHAT?! Come on God, hadn’t we worked through this? Why is this still an issue!?? I want to be happy. I want to be in your will! I want to rely on You! Why won’t you let me be perfect??? Why won’t you let me get this concept and move on!!
I began to feel hopeless. I began to get this very certain sense that God didn’t care about me and I was just this puppet on a string that he was manipulating for his amusement. I was not pleased. As I talked through this with Micah I admitted I doubted God loved me at all. This tore me apart. It felt like the thing I had invested all my happiness in didn’t even care about me and was using my trust in him against me. I started crying. No, I started bawling. I went inside my mind and cried like a child. I cried with fierce anger and frustration. “Show me God! Show me that you love me!! I want to trust you, but I have so many doubts! It doesn’t feel like you love me! Show me that you love me!!”
The little girl inside my brain became hysterical. I was screaming for God to show me a sign that he loved me and cared. The little girl fell to her knees, as her voice became hoarse with desperation and exhausted frustration “Show me you love me!!!”
All the while my husband held me tightly as he watched his wife cry silently.
“What are you feeling Tasha?” he asked.
“I feel like God doesn’t love me. I feel hopeless and alone. I want to believe, but He’s not answering me”
“You don’t feel like God loves you? Do you want me to remind you of times you felt certain and overwhelmed by His love?”
“Yes, I want to believe again” I replied weakly
“Would you believe it even if I reminded you?” he said with concern in his voice.
“I want to pray for you first” And so he did. He prayed for me aloud as I prayed inside, the little girl’s fading voice prayed that God would show up.
As my husband opened his eyes after the prayer to look at me, he reminisced, “I remember when I was a boy I would get so angry at my parents for disciplining me. I would run to my room and slam the door and curse them. I was so angry and upset. I honestly felt like they didn’t love me and didn’t care. I thought that it would be better if they were dead. I would cry and resent them. But my parents were good to me and they did love me. They took care of me, fed me, bought me the things I needed and even a lot of the things I wanted. They loved me so much they wouldn’t let me sit in sin because they knew that the pain in my childhood would blossom into me becoming a mature, disciplined adult. Despite whatever that had happened that made me so angry with them, they didn’t stop loving me. In fact, they most definitely did it because they loved me very much. Their love for me hadn’t changed, it was my perspective that had changed.”
Fresh tears started to run down my face, “Thank you”
“I know now that God’s love for me hasn’t changed just because of how I feel or what I’ve done, it’s my perspective of God that has changed.”
“I’m glad you can see that Tasha. I know God loves you so much. I can see Him working in your life all the time. How do you feel now?”
“Better” I said as I hugged him tightly.
“Well, I think God just showed up”
I soaked up the moment, feeling relief and freedom from the dark burden of doubt, but something still lingered…
“I have to repent now, huh?” I asked childishly.
He smiled, “You don’t have to right now… but just like when you were a kid and got angry with your parents and yelled at them and said horrible things, it would feel weird to come back to God like nothing ever happened. It’s going to feel weird until you apologize. He’s forgiven you Tasha. He knows all of the awful things you said and thought and He has already forgiven you. All you have to do is turn to Him and apologize.”
I nodded. I knew he was right.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:9-10
“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus…” Acts 3:19
I closed my eyes and found that little girl standing before the feet of God, looking up endlessly at her Father.
“I see now that you’ve loved me the whole time. I said awful things. My faith was weak and I doubted so quickly. I thought of You as a much smaller, pettier god than You really are. I’m so sincerely sorry.”
Am I alone in this? Have you had doubts about God’s love and providence? What do you do when you doubt?