“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.” But the word of the Lord came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.” He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.” – Genesis 15:1-6
As we make our way towards Sunday in our fall theme of “nothing can separate us,” we will be thinking about doubts. Often we think that our doubts — doubts about God, the scriptures, or our belovedness — create barriers between us and God. But over and over again in our scriptures, we see that our doubts or questions are not barriers to God’s love. Our doubts cannot separate us from the love of God. Abram had yet to see evidence of God’s promise of children for him and Sarah and yet, there was God, in conversation with Abram reminding him that God’s promise of faithfulness would still be fulfilled. Our doubts, and our questions, can, in fact, be gifts to our faith because they keep us exploring, asking, seeking, and learning. As I think about doubt I am reminded of this lovely quote from Anne Lamott. It has brought me reassurance in my own times of doubt, and I pray it does that for you, too.
“The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.”
In Peace and Hope, Pastor Ruth