In high school I liked a girl who didn’t like me back. During those hard times (which were harder than should have been), my faith became sort of a crutch. Now I realize this theology isn’t entirely wrong. After all, Christ has accomplished what we were powerless to do; he is our “crutch.” But my faith became narrowed to all those slow contemporary songs about God being my hiding place and refuge. The idea of having JOY in Christ must have completely passed over my head.
There was a point when I realized that I needed to build the foundation of my faith not on being despairingly driven to faith, but on Jesus Christ the person Himself. Now, it’s not like I think about this all the time, and I believe I have addressed this problem and I have learned to find joy in the person of Christ; however, there seems to me to be a clear shift of never having doubts about God to having doubts about God after I got over the girl. Just brainstorming, I could possibly attribute this to a few things: 1. My faith was longer a crutch and I had successfully gotten over a girl–why need God? 2. What was once a highly emotional faith had turned more intellectual, and the deeper I went the more questions I had.
I went through a period of a few months where I began to admit my doubts (about God’s existence). I can remember having conversations in the park with my friend. Much of my thought was spurred by discussion with an English teacher of mine, and essentially I was trading God (who was obviously just one made-up part of the vast history of literature) for a life of balance, beauty, and thought. My friend asked me why I would want to trade a world of meaning for one without meaning. To me, this world did have meaning. Oh, and less constraints of God’s commands, too. Always a bonus.
Shortly after this intense period of doubt, I went on a missions trip where everything was quickly rebuilt. Heck, the organizers of the trip even prayed for the weather. They trusted God for everything! That’s somewhat sarcastic, because the cynicism in me still doubts why God would care intervening with weather (weather is scientific, right?), but the other part is serious because it was a key experience in my rebuilding of faith in God.
Here I stand now. That missions trip was over two years ago. I’m now in my sophomore year of college. I work at my church as a youth intern. I give sermons. I plan on going to Biola. I teach others about Christ. I pray frequently and read my Bible daily. I listen to Christian music in the car. I try to experience Christ all the time. I look for opportunities to build friendships with people who I can introduce Christ to.
But you know what? I still doubt. It’s like I’m compelled to follow Christ, but I don’t even know what is compelling me. I can only hope it’s not just because I have a job secured. I can be in the middle of a prayer, and then out of nowhere think, “No one (No God) is listening. This is stupid.” But to lose faith, to lose Christ, would be to lose everything to me. It’s times like these I wish I was a tongues-speaking, prophecy-giving, lay-hands-on-the-people healer charismatic, because I want to know for sure I am following a TRUE, LIVING God, and not an idea.