We all have doubts. Nagging doubts. Quiet thoughts that creep in and cause us to wonder if the things we have held true for years are actually real, or if the whole thing has been a façade.
Maybe our relationships are fake.
Maybe the people who call themselves our friends are really just fair-weathered.
Maybe this thing called faith is just a ruse to help us not fear the finality of death.
If we are honest, we all have doubts.
When the angel appeared to Mary to let her know she was pregnant, the angel then disappeared. The angel left Mary alone – standing in silence.
The angel left her with her doubt.
But –
The angel also told Mary – “the Holy Spirit will come upon you.”
The same presence of the Holy Spirit that came upon Mary also is present with each of us as we journey through our lives and feel ourselves standing in silence. Standing in doubts.
When we hear the words from loved ones, “I don’t love you anymore, I do not want to continue in this relationship.” We are not alone as we stand in silence of fear.
When we feel the sting of others telling us we are not good enough we are not alone as we stand in the silence of our thoughts of self-doubt.
When we face the uncertainty of job situations and realize our current job opportunities may come to an end we are not standing alone in our silence of uncertainty.
When we watch loved ones slip from this life to the life eternal, we are not standing alone in the silence of grief.
When we face holiday seasons alone because life circumstances are different than what they were before, we do not stand alone in the silence of loneliness.
Mother Teresa’s a true example of faith, experienced decades-long battles with feeling God’s absence and doubt.
She spoke of the “darkness of faith,” referring to the almost four-decade period of her ministry during which she felt an absence of God’s presence. “Jesus has a very special love for you,” she told the Reverend Michael Van Der Peet in September 1979. “As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.”
The human struggle with doubt goes all the way back to the first biblical account of humanity.
Evil’s strategy was to plant the seed of distrust and doubt in Eve’s worldview about God’s loving goodness. However, the Genesis story reminds us that God is never the one who is hiding (see Genesis 3:8-10).
We are the ones who hide.
Doubt, fear, guilt, anger, indifference, misguided religious traditions, and self-focus are just a few of the thoughts/feelings we hide behind.
But God is always there with us, even when we hide, even in the midst of our struggles. God is there with us through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit – God is there with us in our doubt.