Doubt can swarm like bees who have been disturbed. Doubt can tie us up in ways that make it difficult to move forward. Doubt unsettles.
Where does doubt take you by the throat and strangle you? What can you do with it?
Let me take you to another boat and storm story. (Matthew 14:22-31) This time Jesus isn’t in the boat. He stayed back for time to pray on the mountain. But he was watching. Recognizing that his disciples were going to need some help when a vicious storm rolled in, he goes out to meet them. He skipped taking a boat and just walked the distance on the water. The disciples thought they were seeing a ghost. I’m with them there. A robed silhouette, fuzzy figure in the storm fog, on top of the water before hover boards existed would make me believe in ghosts!
It was his voice that convinced the disciples otherwise. Yes, the sheep knew his voice! Important point when doubt comes visiting.
So Peter decides to test the water. ”If it’s you, tell me to come.”
How much faith is there in if. Hold that thought!
When Jesus told him to “come,” for a few brief, faith-filled moments, Peter walked on water just like Jesus.
Then, he remembers, people can’t walk on water, and he sinks, close enough that Jesus can rescue him.
That’s when Jesus asks the million-dollar question,
“Why did you doubt?” (Mat. 14:31)
Is that the problem we won’t address, the why’s of our doubts? We want proof to take our doubts away. Logical answers. Practical solutions. Something we can hold on to in a storm.
But why do we doubt, because we do. Why do we bury God’s no or nudge? What makes us choose our best thought over God’s best? What makes us stall when some moment presents a faith choice?
I don’t know any other way to untangle the trajectory of a doubt except to see it as misplaced trust. If we trust our intuition, our experience, our dreams, our desires more than we trust God’s character, doubt will seep in somewhere. And it usually comes with the little word with a dangerous sting, If.
If God really understood, he would have or wouldn’t have . . .
If God wants to give me the best, then He will . . .
If God has all power, then why can’t He use some of it to . . .
If God is all love, then . . .
If cloaks doubt in our logic. We become Peter, with all the energy to get out of the boat and not enough faith to walk on water.
While doubts may come, we don’t need to give them a guest room. Examine their why. Track their origin. Answer Jesus’ question before you act on a doubt. To get all of God, do all He says.
Then, instead of letting doubt become the weight that sinks you, it enables a growth step that lifts you.
Anytime the character of God becomes your invitation to do or be more than you think you can; doubt is an unnecessary prop and walking on water becomes possible.
Is today your day to do some water-walking?