Then Jesus gives the disciples what is called the Great Commission,
sends them out to be his agents in the world. Jesus looks at these worshipping
doubters and says: "You go! You doubters, go. You risk your lives for me. You
change the world for me. And as you will find as you go that it is your own
doubts that are healed. You doubters are included too."
Disciples are not people who never doubt. They doubt and worship. They
doubt and serve. They doubt and help each other with their doubts. They doubt
and practice faithfulness. They doubt and wait for their doubt to one day be
turned to knowing.
Waiting is really hard. Maybe you're not sure if you can wait for God
anymore. But if you do not believe Jesus, if you do not wait for the Father whom
Jesus himself believed in, then the question becomes, what will you wait for?
We're all waiting for something, whether we want to or not. We're all waiting -
in our own lives, in our sorry world. If it's not for God - for the Catcher -
then what is it for?
It seems ironic that every kid, at some point in his or her life wants
to run away and join the circus. The truth is that we are all born holding on to
a trapeze - a little trapeze we call our "life." We hold on to it tightly: our
security, our "okay-ness," our success, our importance, our worth, our stuff,
our bodies, our health, our influence.
Then Jesus comes along and say: "You can let go of all that. You can
let go of your life, because Someone is holding it. You can die to all the
things that would keep you from living in my kingdom, and you'll find out that
you haven't died to anything at all that matters. Let go.
"Let go of all the darkness.
"Let go of all the selfishness.
"Let go of all the fear.
"Just let go."
(Faith & Doubt, John Ortberg, Zondervan 2008, pages
That's the way Ortberg finishes his book. The whole book is about choosing to have faith, even in the midst of doubt - how doubt can be good, as long as it does not take us so far that we walk away from faith.
As I read this book, I was challenged to begin to see how doubt can be a good thing. And, really, we see it all the time through-out Scripture. People struggled with doubt even when they could see Jesus face-to-face and they could see His miracles. We choose to have faith despite our doubts.
I was especially struck and spent time dwelling on one portion of the above quote, which I'll repeat here:
Disciples are not people who never doubt. They doubt and worship. They doubt
and serve. They doubt and help each other with their doubts. They doubt and
practice faithfulness. They doubt and wait for their doubt to one day be turned
The first time I read it, I kind of stopped and had to go back to reread because I wasn't sure I got it. But, as I reread, I realized that those few words contained a pretty good summary of what life as a disciple of Christ can be like. We may have doubts, but in the midst of them we continue to serve and worship and encourage, and over time discover those particular doubts go away - although are often just replaced with new ones. But, we still choose to have faith and to follow in the midst of those doubts.