Sunday, March 22, 2009

Questioning


I often deal with people in emotional pain. They know that in order to heal that they’ve got to be honest with themselves, honest about their situation, and honest about the interpersonal issues weaving through their life. They also need to be real with God. It’s all a battle.

During these roller coaster times the pat answer, the Scripture verse remedy, the dutiful reminder to pray, the urgings to confess sin aren’t accepted. There’s something deeper going on. Reality has changed. And all of a sudden you find out that the faith you had isn’t up to the task of the healing and maturing that needs to take place.

So, how do you develop a faith that helps you to heal and mature? It starts with acknowledging your realitity, your pain, and the fogginess of life that accompanies a sense of being lost. With it comes a sense of 'yukkiness'. It's scary. This yukky, foggy place is a stage of faith that some call 'questioning'. It's not a faith stage that we welcome, but when it comes we have to embrace it with some degree of intentionality. We can't run from it.

The truth is that we like a faith that has answers, a faith that makes us feel good. and not a faith that allows us to experience discomfort, forces us to think, and expects us to pray. We want a faith that gets us through the week but doesn't alter our life.

I understand. My choice is always good news and a light load. When I open up my 401K envelope what I want to discover is my investment group found a way to make me 25% more, not 40% less. But sometimes life isn’t about good news and faith is about trusting God in the times when trust doesn’t come easy.

Sometimes our faith journey brings us to a place where we couldn’t find an answer if we ran smack dab into it. And yet God meets us in this place because there’s something he can do with us in the midst of it…and it might not be easy. And for those who want just a ‘feel good’ kind of faith …this is going to be problematic. Some deal with the problem by dropping out, drifting into a health and wealth, name it and claim it, pop-psychology meets spirituality nether land where they will never find what they’re looking for. For the god of this age only wants to rob you of what is real.

When you're in a 'questioning' stage of faith something happens and you move to a place of great humility. God works on our life always but I think he likes it when we're stripped down and not puffed up. It's when we get to that stripped down version of ourselves that God finally has something to work with. It then that we want what He can do. We're willing to let Him speak into our lives. Until we get there we will worry about our circumstances and our past ...making excuses for each. All God wants is our honesty in this present moment. And in that process God matures our faith by helping us give up control, to confront all that is false in our lives and will help us learn to surrender. Then we become clay in the Master Potter's hand. Something new emerges.

6 comments:

Khris said...

Well said. Beautiful post.

Mike said...

Thanks.

Randy Siever said...

Matt. 28:16-17

Mike said...

Yep.

Lois said...

This meets me where I'm at - in the middle, not out of it yet, waiting. Thanks, Mike.

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