If you follow Facebook you have likely seen someone share a blog written by Nate Pyle questioning the often quipped Christianeze faith killer to someone in the midst of tragedy and struggle, “Don’t worry, God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”
I too have been the victim to this stupid statement. Sadly, I had probably said this to others.
It was my attempt to squash my own fear and anxiety in that uncomfortable moment of someone’s grief. Sure sometimes we genuinely want to help those we love and stop the pain with our words of wisdom, but more often than not it’s less about the grieving heart and more about our inability to let pain do what pain does. So we panic, we speak without thinking, and at times cause more pain.
Are we really that uncomfortable in the silence, the pain, the grief, the unknown that we resort to short one liners, that upon examination fall short of everything they are intended to accomplish?
Are we worried people will “lose their faith” over a painful experience?
I submit to you that the reason we put these kind of silly statements on our tongues and deliver them to those who are hurting comes from the need to fix our own anxiety! We are unsure of some things, we don’t appreciate uncertainty, and we have been taught that uncertainty and doubt are bad when it comes to matters of faith.
The irony of this thinking… Certainty Is The Opposite of Faith! Not doubt, not fear… but Certainty!
If you need to have faith in someone or something it means you don’t know what the outcome will be. When you don’t know all of the details and the end results are up in the air, it takes faith!
Sometimes MASSIVE faith.
True Faith is beautiful and inspiring… In the midst of certainty faith is not really faith, but in the midst of uncertainty, doubt, and even fear
FAITH IS BEAUTIFUL!
Can doubt kill faith, sure it can but so will telling people they can’t doubt because it’s the opposite of faith. With this line of thinking If doubts continue they will be forced to conclude that faith is not in the cards for them…
The real question is, can faith thrive in the midst of uncertainty?
I’m not saying that we should walk around with doubt in our hearts as a constant, but if you find yourself wrestling with matters of faith begin the search.
Ask questions, dig for answers in the scriptures and in those you trust with spiritual things. I can’t guarantee that you will find all of your answers, but I am certain that if you search with an open heart for authentic reasons you will find Jesus at every turn.
You might not find YOUR answer, but you will find THE answer. Cheesy I know, but it’s the only way I can explain my own story of doubt and struggle in the midst of the storm.
I have been on this same search as a result of my own doubts and fears in the midst of the most painful experience of losing my second son Micah 6 years ago. I don’t have all the answers to my questions, but I know God now more than I ever dreamed possible. And my continued pursuit of God has strengthened my faith in ways certainty could not!
I now own a faith that is stronger than ever, yet I still face ambiguity and uncertainty at times! I now enter my uncertainty with little to no anxiety because I sense God at every turn.
Jesus said in Chapter 11 of Matthew’s Gospel after much doubting and questioning from his disciples and John the Baptist, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
The jews have a practice called “sitting Shiva”. Shiva is the Hebrew word for 7 and the practice means you sit with a grieving person/family and don’t say a word until 7 days of silence is over, unless the person breaks the silence with you. Can you imagine how difficult it is to sit with someone and not say a word? Listening to the sobs, watching the tears, hearing every gut wrenching whimper? We need more silence in our culture of grieving!
How can the Church reach people who are far from God… quit acting like we have all the answers, never questioning a single thing for the sake of religious faith and trade it all in for a rich, honest, authentic life of faith that thrives BECAUSE we have some uncertainties that will never become certainties in this life. Faith trumps certainty.
Rest in the unknown, pursue God, and watch Him become bigger than any answer you need.
Check this song out by All Sons and Daughters. Meditate on it, sing it, live it!