By: Chloe Grabeman
In J.K. Rowling’s beloved works of Harry Potter, the inhabitants of the wizarding world are plagued by a very real fear of an evil murderous wizard named Voldemort. This fear overtakes them so much, they cannot even utter his name. He’s referred to as “you know who” or “he who must not be named.”
On the outside looking in, this sounds so funny to us. Names are simply names. We proudly agree as Rowling’s character Hermione Granger exclaims, “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”
But how confident and cozy do you feel when you hear the word doubt?
How often do you avoid the word or replace it for something more passive?
Doubt is one of the most feared and avoided words in our Christian life. We have bought the lie that once we are saved, our battle with doubt should be done. That God is disappointed with our “little faith” when we have experienced his eternal power. And when we come face to face with the reality that doubt is still a frequent visitor, our shame causes us to silence any mention of its existence.
So, it’s time we look at doubt through a new honest lens.
I’ll go first.
I know what it feels like to be stuck and slowly sinking in doubt. I’ve had to swallow the reality of heartbreak and disappointment in God that has caused me to doubt his goodness. And I’ve felt the shame that God is likewise disappointed in me, for if I am “ye of little faith,” how can I be loved?
But what if doubt was meant to serve a purpose greater than just being our unspeakable torturer?
Matthew 17:20 states:
Why do we think God is disappointed in our level of faith when all he asks for is the size of a mustard seed? So often when Jesus says “you of little faith,” it is paired with his promises that he will never leave us.
If he will clothe the fields he will surely clothe you of little faith.
If he will calm the storms surely, he will calm your fears you of little faith.
If mustard seed sized faith can move mountains, “you of little faith,” should not be heard as words of discouragement but rather affirmation. Our doubt should never be a source of shame.
However, doubt is still real. If the size of our faith is that of a mustard seed, that leaves a lot of room for doubt. Doubt is terrifying, lonely and painful, but doubt and faith can and should stand side by side. When we are sifted through the sands of doubt the God who emerges is nothing of our own safe crafting, but rather a God of renewing power and never-ending kindness.
Doubt is no longer our torturer – doubt is our teacher. Its name shouldn’t be silenced and its ways should never be avoided. For when we have the guts to allow God into our doubt, it is then we are convinced of what is most real.
Oh My Dear – Tenth Avenue North
Sparrow (Under Heavens Eyes) – Tenth Avenue North
Restless – Audrey Assad
Close Beside – Joseph Holm
God is No Stranger – Joseph Holm
Only Grace – Matthew West
Help Me Believe – Strahan
Listen here at the Real and True Playlist on Spotify: (newest blog playlist are always first songs at the top) https://open.spotify.com/user/128815512/playlist/3YfqgeMjEUj7ZB8ydKd5qL
Check out Chloe and Linda Grabeman’s book Real and True: Hope for the Restless Heart at www.realandtruehope.com