Doubt

He who doubts is like a wave in the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” ~ James 1:6

I recently told you a true story about how God gave me a new horse.  I wrote of how this horse was the answer of a heart’s cry – a cry that could not really be put into words, but my Maker knew the depth of my plea.  He knew that I feared getting a new horse because I had only ever owned one horse.  Being able to feel comfortable around a new horse was a concern for me.  I worried about being able to trust the horse while riding it.  I worried about how it would adjust to the other horse and pony that we had here at home.  Basically, the thought of getting a new horse was a little scary for me and, if I am honest, a bit overwhelming.  The Lord knew all that.

I committed to handing my concerns and feelings of being overwhelmed over to Him, and I was prepared to wait a long time for him to fulfill my desire for a new horse.  Ultimately, I wanted to get a horse when it was HIS time and in HIS way.  (Because I really do believe his ways are higher and better than ours – Isaiah 55:9)  I knew that if I believed God was behind the circumstances surrounding getting a new horse, then my heart would be at peace.  Wrong.

God handed me a free horse that fit the description I had given him.  He did it in a way that seemed so obvious that it was Him.  (Read the story for complete details)  Even though I felt convinced that God was behind Suzy Q coming to our house, I began to doubt.

I had a growing list of “concerns” about keeping Suzy.  Was she really the horse for me?  What if she does not turn out to be the kind of horse I really want?  What if she ends up being lame (sore) most of the time?  What if she ends up costing us a lot of money because she is an older horse?  What if I have to say goodbye to her too soon?

All of my doubts were about what MIGHT be.  Concerns about the future were the consuming presence.

But then I had to ask myself:  What about the past?  What about God’s faithfulness?  What about how God has proven himself trustworthy?  Where is my trust?  Do I really believe God is good and his ways are good?  Where is my faith?  With even the tiniest seed of doubt present, there was no room for trust or faith.

I feel like we are often offered situations much like Peter in Matthew 14.  Jesus is out on the water and he invites us to leave the safety of the boat and walk with him on the water.  Being out on the water is far more thrilling and fulfilling, yet being in the boat is easier and feels safer.  If we step out in faith, believing that God is behind our situation, we must keep our eyes focused on Jesus, the full representation of the goodness of God.  If we look away, the waves will cause fear and doubt.

“He who doubts, is like a wave of the sea – blown and tossed by the wind.”  Once I began doubting, my heart and thoughts were no longer anchored in truth.  They were no longer anchored in trusting God as they had been before, and I began to notice the waves.  My thoughts began floating around wondering where to land (or sink).

At the first sign that things may not be completely perfect, I doubted.  I began wondering if Suzy was really the horse God had picked out for me.  Once one seed of doubt was allowed to enter, more seeds followed.  I noticed more and more waves until I was convinced that God must not have called me out of the boat in the first place.  This was the substance and wrestle of last week.

Today I see differently.  I spent the morning thanking God for knowing me completely and for giving me the horse he knew I needed.  I still have some lingering doubt.  I still wonder if I am seeing the situation the way he sees it; however, I am committed to stop looking for waves that would convince me to stop walking.  I am committed to being present in the moment, trusting that the next step will be clear once I need to make that step.  Basically, I am committed to keeping my eyes focused on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:2).

My faith is not perfect.  Thankfully, Jesus is patient.  Though I am tempted to give up and get back in the boat, HE never gives up on me.  He continues to work on strengthening my faith.  For that, and many other things, I am thankful.

Cross legged Suzy

Suzy acting like she is part cat…one of the quirky things that made me wonder…now I delight in it.  

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