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Leaping from Doubt to Belief

"We move away from doubt at our own pace and with our own set of doubts and beliefs to master.  While our first step is a matter of belief and ultimate trust in God, there are many other and some even more difficult steps to take in our movement from doubt to belief.

"One step along this journey that causes many people to stop and struggle is the step of actually believing God loves them and that they can also be lovable in God's sight.  This more than any other step along the journey makes men and women, young and old, stumble and fall from faith to doubt.  Why is it so hard for us to believe that God's love really is unconditional and that we should imitate God's love not only for others but also for ourselves?

"... Leap from doubt to belief and remember that God loves you, delights in you, and yearns for your response of faith in God and in God's creation." - Rueben P. Job, "A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God"

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I have a very vivid memory of being out at Fern Cliff with my children this past summer.  We had gone out for a walk and a picnic lunch overlooking the cliffs.  My vivid memory, though, is of a small gap before me, a distance of no more than three feet.  I was standing on solid ground, a bedrock of stone.  Across from me was another sure and stable slab of stone.  But there was this three-foot long gap of air I needed to jump.  Normally, such a gap would be nothing at all.  I may not be as spry as I was in high school, but I knew intellectually I could make the jump.

The problem was not the space between where I was and where I intended to land.  It was the space downwards.  If I didn't make the three-foot jump across, I was facing a ten foot fall downwards.  For a few moments I paused at the edge, mentally frozen in place by this obstacle.

Rueben Job is correct.  Believing and knowing deep within that we are loved by God is one of the hardest steps for us to make.  Intellectually, we know we should be able to get over this gap.  If we take any time to read the Bible, we hear this truth spoken to us.  Yet, our intellectual knowing of this truth doesn't do us much good.  Our self-doubt impedes us, keeps us from moving forward, and makes us deeply afraid we will fail and fall.

By God's grace, though, sometimes we are able to make that bold leap, and that is precisely what I did this past summer ... eventually.  I made that leap across the minor gap.  It turned out to be nothing.

May we all be able to make the leap out of our self-doubt and into God's loving care this day.  May we live as those who know they are loved and, therefore, able to love.

Wes

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