I read a devotional blog three times a week. The blogger can sometimes barely manage three posts a week. Sometimes it’s two. Occasionally, it’s none.
The blogger has a husband who’s going through chemotherapy. He has cancer. He’s in his early 30s. They have children.
She maintains an outward smile in her blogs. She’s always trying to be encouraging. She focuses on joyful things, positive things, likely knowing that her husband is reading what she writes.
Sometimes she cracks. And it’s okay. The people who follow her blog, including me, know that it’s okay to crack. She’s shouldering an enormous weight, and sometimes you have to let the smile go and just crack.
Some days she disappears.
She clings to her faith like a life preserver. Some days it’s not enough.
In The Fire of Delayed Answers, Bob Sorge says that “in the thick of my own personal darkness, when it seemed that God wasn’t hearing any of my prayers, I really struggled to find any sort of faith in my heart for deliverance.”
Some days it’s easy to believe what all the celebrity atheists say. Some days it’s easier not to believe.
Faith can be hard.
Faith can be harder than not believing.
We’ve all had those experiences. We might never admit that; some churches can be notoriously non-understanding. We’re supposed to be living the victorious Christian life, which absolutely has no room for depression and doubt.
And yet Jesus had times when he questioned and cried out, times when the pain was overwhelming.
When John the Baptist was killed by Herod.
In the garden of Gethsemane.
On the cross.
I think of my blogging friend, and I can’t begin to approach an understanding of what she’s going through. I read her words, brave words, knowing she must be crumbling, or screaming, on the inside.
Some days, doubt is normal.
Led by Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter, we’ve been reading The Fire of Delayed Answers. To see more posts on this chapter, “When the Lights Go Out,” please visit Sarah at Living Between the Lines.
Photograph by George Hodan via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.