The tension between doubt and trust was the subject of the sermon this morning at church. In a nutshell, it is not possible as a human to live with out doubt, no matter how much we trust something, or trust God, there is always nagging doubt; the key is using that doubt to grow your faith. Facing the doubt and choosing to trust strengthens our faith.
This subject brought an experience I had, about a year ago to mind. I was at the end of a long morning of errands, and I had a very tired and cranky boy in the backseat. I had one more stop to make at the bank. I just needed to use the ATM. As I turned down Main Street at lunch hour, I sent up a desperate mommy prayer that there would be a parking space in front of the ATM so I didn’t have to get Zachary out of the car again. Stopping at every signal in the slow traffic, I began to grow impatient. As my frustration mounted, it dawned on me, I asked God to provide a parking spot and now I am being impatient and rushing along, not wanting to wait for His timing. I sent up a quick prayer of apology and moved along down the street. As I came to the block that the bank was in, I began looking ahead to see if there was a spot, and I saw a truck pulling into a spot right in front of the ATM. The words out of my mouth were, “ Well there goes my parking space!” But as I pulled up to the truck I saw that the spot on the other side of the truck was empty. I pulled in and thanked God and apologized for my doubt. I got out of the car and stepped up on the curb, as I did, I saw that something was written across the sidewalk in front of my car. It was facing the other direction so I craned my neck to read it –Faithfulness. I think, “Huh, that is odd.” and turn to walk to the ATM, and then it hits me like a ton of bricks…my God is faithful, and he wants me to know that.
I still have no idea why that word was written across the sidewalk, but it doesn’t matter. It was a word from God, to me His doubting child. I was reminded of two things by this experience. The first is that you can’t rush God; if you ask for something, you have to allow him time to work. It won’t necessarily happen when you think it should happen. The second is, if he is faithful in the little things, like parking spots for worn out moms, how much more faithful is he going to be in the big things, like the master plan for my life. I know these things and I trust Him, but the doubt still creeps in…but maybe that is ok. Maybe I just need to cry out as the father did in Mark 9:24b, “I do believe! Help my unbelief.”