I am grateful for a God bigger than my doubts.
I have many questions, and He is not intimidated by them. I examine everything I was raised to believe, and He’s cool with that. I get angry about the dumb stuff my fellow believers and leaders do and say in the name of God, and He lets me know that stuff pisses Him off, too.
I resonate with the phrase the father of the demon possessed boy cried out in Mark 9:24, “I do believe! But help me overcome my unbelief!”
If there is any verse that could sum up my faith experience over the last 6 years, it is that.
I have been thinking a lot about Nicodemus lately. He was a Pharisee- a religious leader. He was a very educated man. He knew his theology inside and out. And then Jesus came along with some crazy things to say. They were contrary to the things Nicodemus had grown up with and believed all his life, but he couldn’t help but see that Jesus was performing miracles wherever he went.
John 3:2 “He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.'”
I think Jesus really shook him up. And I get that- my faith has been shaken pretty good lately, too. And the thing I love about this whole conversation at night with Jesus that Nicodemus has, is that Nicodemus asks Jesus a bunch of questions. He lets him know that the stuff Jesus is saying is just not computing in his head. And Jesus comes back and tells Nicodemus that he’s making this whole thing way harder than it needs to be. It’s not logical, and it doesn’t have to be so over-spiritual. What Jesus is offering is mysterious and illogical, but it is fulfilling and experiential- right here, right now, on earth.
John 3:12 “I have spoken to you of earthly things; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?”
That always reminds me of what my dad had to say about some of the more legalistic members of our church, “They’re so heavenly minded that they’re no earthly good.”
I think sometimes in the church we make reaching out for Jesus way harder than it needs to be. We add all these rules and caveats- you have to be this, this, and this before you can experience grace and fullness. That’s just not true. Here, Jesus is saying to just throw out what you think you know and believe in him.
I listened to this sermon over the weekend, and it was refreshing to hear this pastor speak about exactly the story that has been on my heart. It is just about 12 minutes long, and well worth the listen.
Lord, I do believe. Please help my unbelief.