Thursday, August 30, 2007

Having doubts

So it appears that if one is a declared believer in God he (or she) is counted as faithless or maybe even a hero for expressing doubts, depending upon who you ask.

Apparantly, letters from Mother Teresa have surfaced from years ago which refer to her lack of faith, or more appropriately, crisis of faith. An article in Newsweek comes to a conclusion that Mother Teresa long stopped believing:

For this, she is hailed as courageous for even expressing her doubts; her difficulty in believing Something she could not see.

But, some are saying, her life full of frustration and faithlessness are qualities that should prevent her from achieving sainthood. The scriptures make it abundantly clear that all who are followers of Jesus are saints, so for that, the Catholic church committee that is deciding this issue can pack sand. Mother Teresa was a saint. And so are all who believe and follow Jesus.

My question: was it still worth it, Teresa?

Only Mother Teresa would know, and, alas, she no longer is here. But considering the countless suffering people who received help and comfort from her obedience, I would say yes.

But I have a difficult time with those who point at this and other related issues as proof in the pudding that what we believe is not true, that we're just wasting our time on foolishness, etc. But faith is just that: faith. One must have faith because there isn't a difinitive tangible answer for all things. Eventually, one has to take the leap. And eventually all roads lead to the an ultimate end, which, in turn, forces us to either accept or reject it. The end question is whether one will believe in Someone who already has proven Himself and has evidence for Himself everywhere we turn.

It doesn't surprise me that Mother Teresa had her doubts. How could one in her position not have doubts while being surrounded by endless suffering and pain, yet being told by her order that she should just suck it up? I only need to look at the many examples of scripture to see that Abraham, Peter, David and countless others had doubts and fears, and even shortcomings, yet were considered heroes of the faith. Even Jesus wanted the cup of indignation to pass from Him as He prayed in the Garden before His arrest, but He submitted to the will of the Father. So if our Lord had fears, then I don't think He's too concerned when we say we're having trouble even believing in what we're doing.

I heard a song lyric from Toby McKeehen recently that really sums up what I want to be like:

"I'm letting go of everything I am.
And I'm holding on to everything you are.
I'm letting go of everything I once was.
I'm all in.
I'm falling into your arms again."

I hope that Mother Teresa eventually felt this way, because, honestly, it's all we've got when everything else seems hopeless and pointless. And considering the alternative, it's everything we need.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sure we have doubts when God tells us the amazing things He's done and will do. We are human beings, He is a supernatural God. Isaiah 46:11 He is not a man, that's just it God is not a man. He is not limited to our limitations as human beings, because He is not a man. God is God. Nothing is impossible for Him, where as our dreams are impossible for us. But where do you think those dreams come from? That's why we must rely on God to fullfill them. He also keeps all of His promises always, his faithfulness is not like ours. In revelation it speaks of that on His thigh are written the words "Faithful and true" as that is what He is. He is more faithful than we are sometimes.

The world doubts when they see crisis, the world runs to God only when they are in desperate need. They need miraculous signs to prove His existance, yet ignore the miraculous sign that they have been created, that a flower can grow from a seed, the clouds moving. Jesus said it was impossible for people to enter the Kingdom unless they came like a child. In so many ways this is an example of the faith we must have. We must believe that is not by our own successes or riches that we enter, but through grace alone. That takes faith. There is something to be said for those who cling to God in times of uncertainty, in times when the world would say they should doubt, that they should curse God to His face like Job. But in the end we see that God restored all of Jobs posessions. He was faithful in return. Yet He made it very clear that He is God alone. And there was a big difference between God and man, and there is no inbetween.

The question is therefore not that a human should or should not doubt, as that is human nature, but are we willing to rise above the doubt of our flesh, and having our minds renewed to the word, to the Spirit of God and believe at all times? To resist the compromise of the world around us, the world which only believes when it is convenient and be faithful to our Father to always believe His word above our own, above anyone elses. To take God at His word? Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. I would desire to live my life the same way.