I doubt, you doubt, we all doubt!

     > I doubt that there will be an answer to our national debt problem for many years to come!

     > I doubt that the Houston Astros will compete for a World Series title for at least five years!

     > I doubt that there will be an increase in church attendance any time in the foreseable future.

     ** I do not doubt the love of close friends and family.

     ** I do not doubt the mercy of God!

     ** I do not doubt the basic goodness of the human person.

        In the gospel (Mt. 14:22-33), Jesus stretches out his hand to Peter as he is sinking and says, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

       Why is it that we doubt or do not doubt?   I believe we doubt when our experience fails to provide “reason” for believing!  I think we do not doubt when our experience gives us a strong basis for believing or trusting.

        THE DEBT CRISIS — after weeks and weeks of talking and blaming and arguing, I wonder if anyone really understands the PROBLEM.  If there is no understanding of the problem there can be no possible solution!  There seems to me, to be NO EVIDENCE, that there is even an agreement on what the problem is, so there is reason to doubt there will be an immediate, clear answer.  There is little to no evidence that leaders are going beyond ideology to find workable solutions to meet the NEEDS OF HURTING PEOPLE.

       THE ASTROS — with the worst record in baseball and a dismantling of the present roster, the Astros will rebuild with young, inexperienced “talent”.  Teams that re-load or rebuild {ex: Brewers, Pirates, Reds} take YEARS to compete.  It is possible that teams go from worst to first, BUT EXPERIENCE says, not very often.  Thus, my doubt.

      NO INCREASE IN CHURCH ATTENDANCE — it appears to me, that nothing is “happening” to entice the human heart to want to worship … right now there is a disconnect between organized religion and the human heart/experience.  The OLD METHODS of getting people to church are not working and something “new” has not yet come forth.  So, I doubt there will be a change in the worship trends across the US.  In my view, some Church leaders are not listening to what GOD IS SAYING through the community of faith.

      <> True friends and family hang in there when times are tough and when the mysteries of life are unfolding.  I know because I have seen and felt the power of love and I do not doubt that certain people will “be there” regardless of what is happening.

     <>  I have “heard” and “felt” the overwhelming love God offers through mercy.  Without explanation, reflection and quiet create a sense “you are my beloved” — and I forgive you.  The God of my faith has over and over again allowed me to be healed of fear and guilt and to BELIEVE.

     <> Regardless of the meanness and violence in the world, things HAPPEN to show that people do care — someone makes time for someone in need … someone shares hard earned money with someone else.  A one-on-one conversation with a so-called “knucklehead” show that s/he has some basic goodness behind the rough exterior presented to the world.

       What are some of your doubts?  Why do you doubt?  What is the “lack of faith” that leads to the doubt? What needs to happen for the doubt to be diminished and the faith restored?  Am I, are you, missing signs of hope that can remove doubt?

       Are there areas of life where there is NO DOUBT?  What is the faith [i.e. lack of doubt] based upon? Does someone doubt your commitment to a relationship?  Do you doubt the commitment of a loved one to relationship with you?

      Are there articles of faith that cause you doubt?  Do you doubt the love of Jesus for you?

     In and of itself, doubt is not bad.  Let us deal with our doubts and accept the extended hand of Jesus so that we do not become overwhelmed by the tides of doubt.

 

HJM

        Peter began to be frightened.  Fright can lead to fear that can lead to doubt.  Jesus stands before us …. Jesus is forever there to lift us up and to bring us out.  Let us NOT DOUBT that.

HJM

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