I’d like for you to listen to this song I wrote twelve years ago about doubting God.
I was 24 years old when I came close to letting go of any kind of religious belief. I had so many intellectual and emotional doubts. And in my religious routine, I felt like Sisyphus pushing an enormous rock up and over a mountain over and over again without any purpose or gain. This was a two year journey for me. And coming out of that time I realized that doubt was like many other emotions – when properly dealt with, it can heal. In fact, when you expose your doubt to an authentic experience of God, it transforms into mature faith. You age spiritually.
Some seeds plant doubt and in time harvest faith.
So. About this song.
I had a lot of sleepless nights. But the mornings were the worst. I would wake up before sunrise with a dreadful feeling thinking to myself can I leave God behind? This question kept me up at night and woke me up in the morning.
So one morning before heading into work I sat alone at the bar of a breakfast diner trying to salvage what seemed to be a disappearing faith in God and the Bible. And in a Hail Mary moment I read Job 7:4,
When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’
But the night is long,
and I am full of tossing till the dawn.
I thought to myself, “The Bible mentions sleepless nights of doubt and struggle? God provides language to express doubt in him? He must be very secure of himself!”
In the context of this passage Job isn’t necessarily looking for a cure to his doubt. So many times we go head on with our doubts thinking we can overcome them by brute force logic. Doubt is like any other emotion. Whether or not it is wrong or right – it wants to be expressed and it wants to be heard. Job sought a safe venue to express his doubt. No. Actually Job sought a safe person to express his doubt. And maybe later he would deal with it, but for now he just needed to express it.
In that moment this passage gave me the permission I needed to feel what I was feeling. And once I got that permission, these lyrics came rushing out of me onto a napkin:
Good morning, how are You?
I know it’s been a while
It’s quiet all around me
How long before You smile?
The night’s so long
I toss till dawn
Find me, find me and show me
Show me another way
Find me on my knees
Find me, find me and show me
Show me another place
I’m getting desperate
What’s that in my side?
Hurts me like a thorn
Like an ocean tide
Though I’m toss and torn
I have been reborn
The scars that I carry
O, they remind me of You
So I’m quiet as I listen
To the story I never knew
Your love’s been strong
After writing these lyrics, it was still a long journey back to a vibrant conversational relationship with God. That story’s for another day and another blog. But this song was my hello, we meet again moment.
It makes sense to doubt the existence of God when you’re purposefully looking away. I had to stop staring doubt in the face for a moment so I could stare God in the face. And it worked. He began to heal my doubt.
I later entitled the song Desperate. Which isn’t a bad place to be.