Friday, October 7, 2016

Day 7: Listen for Answers to the Doubt




Once again, I had a vision shaped in my mind for what this next post might be about.  You see, I had chosen this verse, and worked on its accompanying graphic early on in this #Write31Days Challenge. And I had let my mind drift . . .
 

Maybe this verse means that you will answer me with an incredible healing, God?  Maybe I won't have to deal with these multiple chronic illnesses any longer. . . 



Oh, but God, our Savior, has so much more in mind when HE is shaping the Vision for us.


I have been blessed reading so many different words of bloggers who are joining in this challenge to #Write31Days: many different topics, and many different ways to bring encouragement with their words. But it seemed to me that yesterday's theme in several posts ran a little too parallel to just be a coincidence. 


God is at work behind the scenes where we cannot see,
God is in the dark times with us,
God is the potter, and He shapes us beyond what we can see,


and then this last post over at "LisaNotes" on Doubt,
struck something very deep in my heart.


Almost 20 years ago, as I mentioned in some of my earlier postings, my family traveled to churches with Biblical Dramas that we portrayed. And one of the main characters was the Apostle Thomas: Doubting Thomas.


My husband portrayed Thomas, and I was the "voice in the dark" closing out the drama with a series of personal questions:
"So, what is YOUR point of doubting?" I would speak softly to those who had been part of the audience.



Except that, last night, as I read Lisa's blog, I heard Jesus asking me that same question.  


And I knew that He was putting His finger on my own personal doubting in this place of illness.


As I have listened and shared with so many others who are also on this Chronic Illness path, there is one question that seems to come up over and over again:


"What am I doing wrong?"
or, one with a similar punch,
"What test did I fail that brought me here?"


It is so easy to fall into the doubting track. After all, this path of illness is not where we would choose to be, if left to our own devices. The enemy of our soul takes delight in choking our faith with doubts about the goodness of God. 


Maybe God doesn't WANT to see me well.
Maybe God is punishing me for the things I brought upon myself.
Maybe God is telling me I just have to try HARDER and pray more VEHEMENTLY and shout more LOUDLY!



But I don't see Jesus meeting Thomas with those kinds of thoughts. No, He gently came, and met Thomas in the very place of His doubting.  

 
"See, my hands, and place your hand in the hole in my side," he spoke to Thomas.


It's no use trying to hide our doubt away, Jesus sees the depth of what our soul is feeling. He spoke the very words that Thomas had sputtered to his friends, to show us that He is already dwelling there, in the deep of our heart, where we are holding onto the doubts. And HE wants to come near to us.


 Listen to the rest of the passage from that graphic above:




Jesus is at the center of our being, bringing us near to HIS heart and HIS dwelling courts. He wants to meet us, where our feet feel singed from the fires all around, and show us that HE IS OUR ONLY HOPE.


Those awesome and righteous deeds that He answers us with? 


HE IS ALREADY FILLING US WITH THEM, GIVING US GLIMPSES OF HIS HOLY TEMPLE, IF WE WILL ONLY OPEN OUR EYES AND LET HIM SHOW US . . .


right here, 
in the very places where we may be doubting Him today. 


God may still have that miracle of an incredible healing in mind for me.
Perhaps He will choose to have me perservere through the night for a little longer.


Either way, my HOPE rests secure in HIM, because He is answering me with Awesome and righteous deeds, right here, as He brings me into HIS dwelling place.



Are you on a journey filled with doubt? Know that you are not alone, and there is no shame in bringing your questions to Him. Let Him answer you and bring you close to His Courts today.



This is Day 7 in the #Write31Days Challenge for my 
#31Days of Listening with Chronic Illness.
I am so blessed that you are journeying with me!




 

8 comments:

  1. Your words bless me, Bettie! I struggle with chronic health issues myself, nothing serious, but uncomfortable nonetheless. So I often bring them up to the Father. This gives me comfort to be reminded that he doesn't chastise me for our conversations, but is gentle with me: "But I don't see Jesus meeting Thomas with those kinds of thoughts. No, He gently came, and met Thomas in the very place of His doubting." Thank you for sharing this!

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    1. And thank you Lisa, for sharing your thoughts from the Lord that prompted me to listen more closely to my own heart here. Isn't Jesus so good to step into our doubting, and listen to us? I am so amazed that He brings us to just the right connections at just the right time! You will be in my prayers too! --Blessings to you!

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  2. "Either way, my HOPE rests secure in HIM, because He is answering me with Awesome and righteous deeds, right here, as He brings me into HIS dwelling place." That's the key, isn't it? Our HOPE is secure in Him. Jesus knows our pain and He suffers, too. I pray you will have peace and rest this weekend. Blessings!

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    1. Hi Gayl, Oh yes, trusting that our Hope is secure in Him is the key! I am so grateful that "Jesus knows our pain and He suffers, too." What an encouraging reminder tonight,and this weekend, to rest in knowing that. Thank you for your encouragement! --Blessings!

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  3. I've grown rather fond of 'doubting Thomas', because he asks the hard questions and gives us permission to doubt and question while we are living into the answers to come. Faith is rather like a muscle, it atrophies without being stretched and exercised. Though many see doubt as a sign of weak faith, I think fear is closer to being the opposite of faith, and doubt is a desire to delve deep, to know and experience more.
    And I sense your very real doubts have brought you back to a strong place of faith and trust, an abiding hope and reassurance of Jesus being with you in the midst of every uncertainty. That's quite a safe position to be in, Bettie, and one from which you remain open to any possibility God may have in mind for your life. Plenty of food for thought here! Great post, my friend. May God bless you as you are blessing others. xo

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    1. Yes, Joy, I think you are right that it is fear that is closer to being the opposite of faith. And I wonder if sometimes Jesus nudges us to ask those questions, that lie so deeply hidden & hard to ask, in order to grow that deeper faith you speak of. I am so thankful for your support dear friend, as we walk this road of trusting! It seems there is always so much more to be learning from Him, and these are such very good thoughts you bring up to ponder also! Blessings and Hugs to you!

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  4. Bettie, this is such a beautiful post. I'm always so encouraged by the story of Thomas. I've struggled in so many ways with doubt, but it's so beautiful how God encourages us to be real and to receive His love in what we are facing. The enemy does well at persuading us to hide, but thankfully our God is mighty to save, to compassionately draw near. I love reading how He's done that for you through a fellow blogger. Thank You, Jesus.

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    1. Dear Anna, Oh yes, our God is so good to us! But sometimes I have such a hard time "to receive His love in what we are facing." I am so grateful for your words here, to remind me that I can receive that LOVE no matter what lies ahead for me! Truly, thank you Jesus.

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