I doubt. I don’t know about you, but I doubt God’s goodness and I doubt His ability. Typically it’s one or the other, but I doubt.
A few years ago, a mentor and I discussed the fact that God is both good and great. But in our experience it often feels like that He is one or the other. Either He is incredibly loving but really doesn’t have all the power in the world or He is all-powerful but is not loving. These two characteristics of God seem like oil and water.
Which of these that I doubt varies at different seasons in my life. Lately I wrestle more with whether He is truly great. Over the past year, I have experienced God’s goodness in so many ways – often through painful experiences and sitting and allowing Him to do some soul surgery.
But through all of these struggles my circumstances stayed the same. Maybe this is why I doubt His greatness? He has been good in the struggle – He’s been present and healing – but He hasn’t changed my situation. Maybe in my mind I would think Him great if He changed my circumstances according to what I wanted. This is not an accurate way of assessing God’s power.
I need a shift – a shift in thinking that recognizes that God’s character is not dependent on my experience. I need a shift in thinking from the demand to know what God is up to. I need a shift in expectations. I need an increase in faith.
In Ezekiel 37:11 God speaks to Ezekiel and tells him that the house of Israel is saying “Our bones are dry, our hope has perished; we are cut off.” Yet this accusation follows the previous verses where God forms dry bones together, attaching tendons, muscle and flesh and then breathes life into them. They were still under the impression they were dry bones. How often does God work when we don’t know it? How often is He redeeming and resurrecting and we still believe we are dry bones?
Just because we cannot see God working does not mean He is not. Our sight and our understanding often are skewed and so we doubt. At least I do. My prayer for you and for me as we grow in faith in God’s goodness and greatness is this: "Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21)