Yesterday at church, my world got rocked a little bit. You know when you hear something that you already knew in a way, but it's presented to you again at just the right time and it feels like a revelation?
So we started a sermon series on Habakkuk (if you're thinking, "what's Habakkuk?" you're not alone- it's one of the books in the Bible that contains the writings of a guy named Habakkuk!) which basically starts out with Habakkuk crying out to God about his confusion and frustration.
"O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
...Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?"
Now this guy saw some pretty serious injustice and sin, and he was being honest with God about his confusion in the midst of it all! And this is so different from what we grow up doing. Either we grow up believing in God but we learn to avoid our confusion (hurt, questions, or doubts) because we're afraid people will judge us, or we grow up not knowing God and we continue to avoid God because of our questions, doubts, and concerns. Either way, we let our fear and confusion keep us from deeper relationship with Him!
I have been a Christian for about 15 years, and I still have major issues and questions for God. But that doesn't mean I should run away from my questions, discomfort, or doubt! It means I should lean into them and let God teach me more about Himself! Because here's what I'm learning- I don't have to know it all and understand it all before I can know Him- and I don't have to have it all figured out before I can trust Him.
One way God is teaching me to "lean in" right now is through an area of confusion that has more to do with my own sin and brokenness than with an intellectual qualm. This is such a humbling experience b/c I personally find it's easier to say, "well I'm so smart that I don't easily accept the Bible, or the death and resurrection of Christ, or life after death" etc. etc. than it is to say, "well, I've been following God for a long time and I am still really insecure about these things" or "I am still really afraid of marriage" or "I still have an addiction/I'm codependent/I struggle with rage". Basically, it's easier for us sometimes to put our minds out there for people to dialogue with, but it's a lot harder to put our hearts out there. But God cares for our minds and our hearts, and He is capable of handling both! And so far, I've gained a lot more by being honest about my struggles than by trying to hide them.
Difficult? Yes. Worth it? Yes.