Sometimes I doubt. Searching the other day for two AA batteries, I found a couple of loose ones in the tool drawer. Of course, I wondered about the remaining life each possessed. I kept digging until I found a new package. My confidence rose when I found it. Believability demands proof.

A common human characteristic, most who doubt, I think, prefer to “see for themselves” or “put their eye on things” to believe. No wonder then, when too often someone makes a statement outside the bounds of believability, we question its validity. Consider anyone you know who has behaved in less than an exemplary manner—by snub or snide remark, by being manipulative or backstabbing, by gossip—and doubt becomes one of our best tools for discernment.

But sometimes, I doubt God, too. Like most, I think my observations about the world with all its strife, a death too young, nature’s indifference and harshness, man’s constant inhumanity to man, bad things happening to good people and good to bad people, deposits within me the thought God is removed. Like some, I wonder, too, how could He allow all this to happen? God’s purpose in all this evades me, though I am certain this is not about God but about me.

But if God is anything, He is greater than any of His created. What is purposeful for God can be hard for His children. The Father knows before the child. What is hard for the child comes before understanding. Sometimes he must experience for himself the lesson to be learned. The cynic, the atheist, the casual Christian all suffer from the same malady—laziness. Each are repelled by doubt when it arrives.

And my response to doubt, whether I challenge God or choose not to believe in Him is not so much a test of His existence or purpose or even my faith. This He knows. More, it is yet a discovery for me to know my reliance on Him that I may understand the strength of it. Doubt is not the basis for forming a concept about God or the means by which to judge Him. It remains the domain of sight. He has asked me to believe not on what I see but what I cannot. And if I am so graced to receive His revelation meant for me, doubt, then, becomes the beginning of a deepening faith, a journey to a greater understanding. Incumbent upon my working out of doubt when it arrives, mine is to be still, to listen, to posture my life to hear and listen to God. Patience allows me to know something intended awaits. This, I believe, is the ordained relationship between Father and child, Creator and created. Life’s suffering, and its joys, mean to take me to this understanding.

Those batteries restored power to my device. Knowing I cannot see electricity, I live in its power and consequences. Faith works this way.

“Those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15, NKJV).

Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for more than 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton. Contact him at pgadeacon@gmail.com.

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