Faith isn’t easy. Despite the perception of burying your head in the sand and believing what you want, this world won’t let you. There are mass shootings, millions of immigrants and refugees, the deterioration of the earth due to climate change, political corruption, and more. It may be tempting to think that humans can overcome anything or that God is sovereign over all.
The truth is that faith doesn’t make life any less hard. In fact, I’d argue it makes it worse. It’s difficult to believe in God when people have needs that aren’t met, when the world is burning, when the ones you love have forgotten you. Faith is for the darkest moments, but those are when I forget I have any faith. I question if a God is good in the midst of all these circumstances, or even more so, if He is kind, if He cares at all.
To those who’d rather believe nothing at all, me too. If there really is nothing, no such higher power, then it’s easier to look at this world of chaos, and say, “humans have destructive tendencies” or “this is how this is supposed to be.” If there’s a God out there, then you have to wonder why the world is the way it is. Dostoevsky says in The Brothers Karamazov through the character of Ivan, while he believes in God, he cannot accept the world that God has created.
Truthfully, there are times where I feel just as deeply as Ivan does that this world we live in is something that I can’t quite accept. I know that there are good and bad parts to life, but sometimes life is dark in a way that I can’t quite believe to be allowable by a good, sovereign God. I believe in God but what I think about him can vary and often I view his character through his world.
It’s heartbreaking when pastors like Jarrid Wilson are committing suicide due to depression and mental health issues. Hearing this news affected me in such a deep way. I never heard a sermon from him or meet him in real life, but I followed him on Twitter, and the news was shocking. He had actually just tweeted a few hours before and it was strange to think of his Twitter account abruptly cut short by depression. As a person of faith, it goes to show that even those who are supposedly the most mature in their faith – even they – can see that this world is broken in ways that it shouldn’t be.
I wonder about those who live in a bubble – and as they take one step out – their view changes. On a college campus, we don’t talk too much about the outside world as much as we should. But there are moments it creeps in, and I remember this won’t be my life forever. I won’t always have the luxury of living in a bubble.
Navigating faith in the face of the horrors of the world has been hard, but as someone whose faith literally is defined by doubt, I stay. Not due to wishful thinking about how awesome God is, and how I need some Savior to make it all okay. Truthfully, a Savior does not make this life okay.
Life is hard. And it is harder when you can see why so many people have no desire for a God. When it is clearer to be the one without a God to cling to. When you can only see the darkness. I’m not advocating for my point of view. Actually, I’m doing a pretty bad job of it.
I still believe, despite my doubt, despite my questions. If anything, I get to know what I believe is truly for me. I acknowledge that this life sucks and people get hurt and there aren’t a whole lot of happy endings. We all will die, we will go into the dark end eventually. Whatever we choose to cling to is our hope. And though the storms may come, and the earth gives way, I believe (not always, not completely) that my God is in control.
Sorry friends, I haven’t been posting often because of school, but this is much better than last year when would only post once a month.