Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.
Doubt is a foundling unhappy and astray, and though his own mother who gave him birth should find him and enfold him, he would withdraw in caution and in fear.
For Doubt will not know truth till his wounds are healed and restored.
I doubted Jesus until He made Himself manifest to me, and thrust my own hand into His very wounds.
Then indeed I believed, and after that I was rid of my yesterday and the yesterdays of my forefathers.
The dead in me buried their dead; and the living shall live for the Anointed King, even for Him who was the Son of Man.
Yesterday they told me that I must go and utter His name among the Persians and the Hindus.
I shall go. And from this day to my last day, at dawn and at eventide, I shall see my Lord rising in majesty and I shall hear Him speak.
-“Thomas: On the Forefathers of his Doubts,” Jesus the Son of Man, Kahlil Gibran
Have you ever taken one of those Spiritual Gifts tests?
They are similar to personality tests and are supposed to reveal your natural giftedness in Christian Service. Among these may be teaching, discernment, hospitality, etc.
According to the test, without fail, my gift is always . . . you guessed it . . . faith.
I’ve had friends tell me they admire my faith. And often it is a faith-related topic at the forefront of my consciousness or falling from my lips in conversations with friends.
So it might come as a surprise to you for me to admit that my biggest hangup, the darkness that creeps upon me in restless or idle moments, is doubt. I am prone to doubt, perhaps more than anyone else I know. Sometimes it seems the more I grow in my faith, the more frequently those opposing questions flash across my brain. The more perfectly my heart gazes upon the fullness of God manifested in Christ Jesus, the more quickly my mind rebuts, “A little too perfectly, don’t you think?”
In the Myers-Briggs personality test, on a scale of -50 Thinking to +50 Feeling, I fell at just a +1. You might call it a balance between mind and heart. I call it conflict. Often I find myself praying for the ability to acquiesce my brain to what my heart wants so desperately to believe. And my disbelief makes me ashamed and in the darkness of the conflict I sometimes question whether or not I can really call myself a Christian if I am still wondering, still thinking “Too perfectly, don’t you think?”
I am gifted with faith, but it is anything but natural. I write this on a nearly daily basis in my journal: “God, I want to want you more. Help me want you more.”
And you know what?
And in his answer, He teaches me:
Doubt is merely the shadow that skitters across my brain because my heart is already dancing in the light. And as the light gets brighter the shadow will naturally seem darker by comparison.
And to the rational thinker the only way to avoid doubt is apathy.
Doubt only exists because faith already does.
People have said to me, “I want to believe, but I just have doubts.”
And I smile because I know that he who wants to believe is already on his way to believing. He just doesn’t recognize it.
If you want to believe, all you have to do is ask.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7, 8 ESV)
What a silly, nonsensical phrase “natural giftedness.”
Gifts, by their very nature, come from somewhere else. My faith was given to me. Don’t admire me for my gift. Admire the Giver of gifts. And ask for your own.