Beyond the Shadow of Doubt

Published August 19, 2013 by Dawn

“Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

I admire this man’s honesty. In one sentence, he proclaims both his willingness and desire to believe and his natural inability to embrace that belief. No one likes to appear faithless, which is perhaps why I didn’t want to write this blog several weeks ago when it was first placed in my heart. Must also be why I’ve found myself here, in the Shadow of Doubt, grappling to know my faith again. Struggling to embrace all the evidence that God is able and willing to answer my heart’s every cry. Here, in the Shadow of Doubt, I long to be on the other side of it. Beyond it.

This much I know about the Shadow of Doubt: It’s a lifeless place. It’s a place where nothing grows. And there are pitfalls of despair: deep, dark holes that cannot be seen, only felt and fallen into. More terrifying than all of that, however, are the demons that lurk there. Demons of fear and bitterness, who whisper into your soul and cause you to doubt all that you’ve ever known to be true. About yourself, your friends, and yes, even about your God. This is no common place of struggle, it’s a desperate place. A place that can only be conquered by surrender. You cannot get out by fighting or crawling, or climbing. You can only escape by looking up into the heavens and screaming out His name: Jesus! Jesus!

And surrendering. Admitting that although you want to believe, there’s something in you that still doubts. Something in you that struggles to believe that you heart’s desire can become reality, and that the God who says He can make it reality really wants to do that for you. Is it weakness to be so skeptical? Yes, I think it is. It must be, because the man who asked the Lord to heal his son also asked the Lord to help him believe it is possible. But 2 Corinthians 12:9 assures us by saying that “His strength is made perfect in our weakness.” In other words, when we are weak, He is strong for us. The Lord knows our proclivity to doubt. He understands it. Our prayer then becomes, “Lord, take me beyond this Shadow of Doubt! Take me into the light, into a newness of life, to another level of your glory displayed in my life. Bind every demon of fear and unbelief that seeks to hinder me, remove all bitterness that has tried to take root in me, and renew my faith in both your love and your provisional grace. In your precious and holy name, Amen!”

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2 comments on “Beyond the Shadow of Doubt

  • What a concept, to overcome, to persevere, to conquer by surrendering your will. That only happens with Jesus.

    Every once in a while I meet someone that I am instantly fond of, He/she may have an accent or just a different way of pronouncing things that stands out. Then I hear him/her say my name and it’s like music to my ears. Weather it’s Connie or Constance I just like the way it rolls off the tongue. Do you suppose Jesus does the same thing? Is is music to his ears to hear us call out to him? I believe it is. I believe that it doesn’t matter if it is a shout or a whisper, He hears and comes running as if He were the father of a helpless two year old.
    Many times I have longed to hear Jesus say my name. I’ve just longed to hear His voice and to look into His eyes and see the love He has for me.

    Your mention of calling out to Jesus made me think of Jerico. The Lord told Joshua to march around the city seven times and then shout. What do you suppose they shouted? Do you think the people just made meaningless noise? Or did they make meaningful shouts? I think that if I had been among them, I’d have shouted out to God “Lord, Lord, as you have said, let it be done according to your will.” (Of course, that is my shout most of the time.)

    • I agree. In fact, I shout this out quite often anyway. My will is nothing compared to His. Why would I want anything less than His best for me? And since His Word assures me that I can’t even imagine the plans He has for me, there is nothing left to do but surrender my pitiful imaginings and accept from His hands the best that He has to offer.

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