Thursday, October 22, 2015

Spiritual Journey Thursday - Doubt

 I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly theme topic.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us!
This week's topic is DOUBT.
     This week's topic was inspired by this post by my daughter, Libby.  I loved her honesty and the beauty of Mary Oliver's poem.  It made me ponder doubt and how its presence has affected my spiritual journey.  I'm tempted to say that doubt doesn't play a big part anymore in my life, and that faith has won out by leaps and bounds.  However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized doubt still lurks in the shadows of worry, restlessness, insecurity, and hundreds of other petty and energy-sapping emotions.  Those emotions emerge from doubt and distraction.  My husband, Ed, and I were talking about doubt, and he said "Doubt is really about control."  So true!  We doubt God's plan and power.  We doubt His wisdom and promises.  We doubt His truth and grace.  We try to snatch back control - make our own destinies, our own pathways, our own timelines, our own truths...and oh, what a mess we make of things when we do!  We are truly unmoored when we set out on our own.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1: 5-8

   Doubt is a part of my journey.  However, when I'm in a sea of doubt, I'm uneasy and anxious.  Tossed by the wind.  Faith equals peace, balance, and confidence.  When we focus on faith and stay near to Him, everything seems right.

     I love this paragraph in Libby's post: "But ultimately I keep coming back to Faith, and the reason is this: I see a glimmer of Something More in everything on earth, something too massive for Doubt to tackle…I sense my own weakness, my own utter confusion. And I feel – even in the midst of sorrow, even while seeing the pain that is in this world – an unshakable love, and there is no greater love than what was written about Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for the swarming multitudes of people who turned their backs on him."


  1. Thanks again, Holly, for another wonderful lead-off post. I love your husband's insight about control. I definitely need to re-read/ponder this post. God bless you and thanks!

  2. Holly, I think Ed's thoughts are so insightful. Do we try to control our existence without leaning on faith.? Guilty at times. When doubt creeps in, it tosses me like the waves upon the sea that I observe at the beach. Balance is shook and I need a buoy to bring me to the surface. Faith is the ultimate guide. Thank you for this topic to explore.

  3. Hi, could you redo the link to the other post by your daughter. It keeps going to the picture. Thanks. I am really enjoying this subject of doubt. I struggle daily and I am glad I am not alone. Doubt is part of the journey to faith. We are overcomers when we can move beyond doubt and just ground ourselves in belief.

  4. Thank you, Holly, for another provocative topic. I love these wise words by your daughter: " I see a glimmer of Something More in everything on earth, something too massive for Doubt to tackle…" I'd say Amen to that!

    I also agree with your conclusion about the source of doubt i.e. a questioning of God--His integrity, love, wisdom, that He has the best in mind for us. I allude to that in my post about doubt.

  5. You pose some very interesting thoughts about doubt. I struggle with the idea that worry show lack of faith. I can't help but reflect on the idea of free will and that we are put on earth to make our own destiny and hopefully that destiny will reflect God's love. Do you mean that having doubt means that you lack faith in receiving guidance? I trust I will receive guidance but I also think that God means for us his creations to do the hard work. I hope this makes some sense.

    1. Bernadette,
      God gave us free will - absolutely. Of course we need to work hard and make things happen for ourselves, but I think doubt comes from not really thinking God is in control. I believe God has a plan and that we are saved by grace, not good works. We can never work hard enough to be worthy. We will always fall short. Only by walking with Him and receiving his grace will we be filled with peace. I'm not saying this is easy. I wander away from Him all the time. Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

      As for worry, I believe it is wasted energy. That's not to say I don't worry - I do sometimes. But God tells us to "Be still and know He is God." I interpret that to mean HE is in control and everything will work out for good. I've been talking to colleagues lately about our concern for all our students who seem to be experiencing extreme anxiety. Where is that coming from? Why are 10,11, and 12 year olds anxious? Are they growing up too fast? Being exposed to too much information? Do they play enough? Where is their joy? I know their are genetic and medical reasons for anxiety, but it seems to be becoming pervasive. I love Philippians 4: 6-7 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

      I don't know if I've answered your questions satisfactorily. I'm not a Bible or spiritual expert! Nor am I trying to preach. I'm just exploring my own spiritual journey and trying to make sense of the journey through writing about it. I certainly don't claim to be right about anything! ;-)

    2. *there, not their. Ugh. I know THERE are genetic and medical reasons...