Deserts of Doubt

By: Kristen L. McNulty

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Many people were shocked at the revelations that came out in the new book about Mother Teresa. Specifically the evidence of many doubts that Mother Teresa had about her faith. In one letter she wrote:

"If there be God – please forgive me. When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul… How painful is this unknown pain – I have no Faith."

I can see why hearing such a deep and painful admission would be a little shocking, considering that Mother Teresa devoted her life to serving God. But really, could we have expected anything else?

Mother Teresa was no different than you or I. She believed in the same God. And therefore, had the same doubts that we do.

But the incredible thing about doubts are that they are okay. Doubt is not the same as unbelief. Where doubt says "I don't think", unbelief says "there isn't" and those things couldn't be more far from one another.

The truth of the matter is we all doubt. We all search. We all question. And that's okay. Some of the greatest hero's of the faith had deep doubts: King David, Jeremiah, yes, even Mother Teresa. As humans, we're bound to question things from time to time. That's a natural by-product of the free will that God gave us. If He didn't want us to ever doubt, He would have made us perfect faith machines. But He didn't. And maybe because He knows that even though it doesn't look like it at first glance, our doubts build our faith.

Because really, there is no greater faith builder than having a question and then embarking on a search to find the answer. Whether it's why you face an illness. Or why you missed the promotion. Or if God is really all that involved in our lives.

As Rob Bell wrote in his book Velvet Elvis:

"A Christian doesn't avoid the questions; a Christian embraces them. In fact, to truly pursue the living God, we have to see the need for questions. Questions are not scary. What is scary is when people don't have any. What is tragic is faith that has no room for them."

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This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.