Hi, my name is Wes, and I’m a doubter.
I can’t help it. It’s just the way that I’m wired. I have friends and family who are just so naturally accepting of things and so trusting of people and at varying points in my life, I almost envy them. From my vantage point, life often seems so much easier for them. But try as I might, I can’t help it. When someone is trying to convince me of something, I’m doubtful. Of myself. Of others. Of our world. I don’t often take things at face value.
And for me, that has made the faith journey very hard at points as well. In general, the church hasn’t received a great rep for being a place that’s always open to our doubts and questions. I know that growing up in church, that was my experience at a few different points. Maybe that was yours, too. But doubt is simply a part of how I (and probably many of you) are just wired. It’s intrinsic in us. Even as a pastor, a person who’s been charged with, in some way, modeling faith for our church and leading others to discover or grow in their faith at our church, I still have moments where I step back, look at the Christian faith, and shake my head. Sometimes it feels too good to believe. Sometimes my experience doesn’t feel like it’s lining up with what the Bible says. Sometimes, it just doesn’t seem to add up.
The good news I’ve seen is that questions are often a pathway toward faith. They provide these moments in our lives where we can be open, vulnerable, and our relationship with Jesus becomes personal. I think this video below is a beautiful summary of what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus for people like me who just don’t take things at face value. Some of us (like me, for many years of my life) are waiting to take the dive when all our questions are answered. It doesn’t work that way. What happens is we see our questions shrink as we take our little mustard seed of faith and make the decision to take a next step in following Jesus anyway.
So take a look… and maybe look through the doorway of what it means to discover a more personal faith.