When Faith Fails: 10 Days Of Finding God In The Shadow Of Doubt

Day 1 of 10 • This day’s reading


Because we live in a world of limits, we doubt.

Because we don’t have all the answers, questions naturally arise:

What is God like? How can I know him? What is life’s purpose? Which way should I go?

An anonymous fourteenth-century mystic once said that we find ourselves “in a cloud of unknowing.” That is why we doubt. We don’t always see the sky.

However, what we have to be reminded of here is that all of this was part of God’s design. He purposefully made it like this. He built limits into the system. It wasn’t an accident. He knew we would have to live with so many unknowns. And yet he chose for the human story to look this way. . . . When God decided to create, he could have said yes to a thousand other possibilities. But he didn’t. He chose this world. He chose you. He chose me. Limits and all. And still, he called it “good.”

All of this means that doubts are normal.

They’re a natural consequence of living in this world.

You doubt not because you’re a terrible person or because you’re less spiritual than everyone else. You doubt because you’re human.

This is important, because so many Christians view doubt as if it were an unspeakable, repulsive sin. . . .

God didn’t create Adam and Eve with all the answers to life’s hardest questions. Instead, he allowed space for them to explore, question, and learn. He cultivated a garden in which mystery could coexist alongside faith. This means that when we doubt, it’s not because we’re a disappointment to God; it’s because doubt is a natural response to the limitations of our understanding. . . .

Faith isn’t about containment, it’s about possibility. Faith is skin-on-skin closeness, affinity, relationship. But to get there, sometimes our certainties need to be shattered. Our formulas disrupted. Our questions unanswered. And it’s there, in the depths of relationship, that we encounter not a list of religious clichés, but a Person. Friendship is born.