You Asked For It – Have You Ever Questioned Your Faith?

Posted on: May 18th, 2017 by Michael Larson

Have you ever questioned your faith? What were the circumstances or situation?

I’ve grown up in faith. My father was the pastor, my mother was a worship leader and we spent a good chunk of every week under the church’s roof. I was a good kid. I didn’t spend my junior high years sulking (much) or my high school years getting into trouble. I respected my parents and appreciated my positive home environment. They were consistent in their love, their discipline and their communication of Christ’s love for me and for all.

After 18 years of a life saturated in faith and church and the Bible, I chose to continue down the path already so well-worn, and entered a Christian university in the middle of a corn field in Indiana. It was ironic that it was there, surrounded by more Christians, more similar backgrounds, more ministry opportunities and Bible studies and generally kind-hearted people than I had ever been around before, that I began to question the faith of my childhood.

Its often in the times of independence where we truly start to begin seeing who we really are and believing what we really believe, and my foray into the adventures of higher education was no different. Instantly in front of me was more control, more freedom and more opportunities than I had ever had, and I began to wonder if the things in my head were also the things truly in my heart. The gospel of Christ had been gently placed in my lap since birth, but had I truly wrapped my arms around it and made it dear to me?

Some journeys of faith have bumps in the road or left turns of rebellion or regret. For me, it wasn’t so dramatic, but there was a significant shift. I felt like I needed to take a breath, like I needed to give myself the freedom to pull out the faith of my younger years and turn it over in my hands, examine it, push it, pull it apart and see what it was made of. And with the kindness of a few close friends and the tolerance of those within earshot of the constant dialogue in my dorm room, I asked a lot of questions. I asked if God was real. I asked if there was just a single way to Him. I asked about sin and pain and blessing and poverty. I looked in the Bible, in books and in the minds of those I respected.

As I look back, that time was probably unsettling for some of those around me. But without the environment they created, one of grace and patience, one of genuine seeking themselves, I could have easily slipped from an honest pursuit of truth into a bitter rejection of the ideas they represented. Instead, they were my best guides, a crux of community, supporting and loving me well.

The quiet conclusion of my quest took a form similar to the beginning of it. During that time, it was as if a strong wind had blown, rushing in, rustling leaves, snapping twigs and tossing bits and pieces of my life and faith into the air. But then, as quickly as it had come, it was gone and the settled scene had a different texture, a quality of tangibility. It felt like before I had been reading a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and now I was sitting down to a plate full of Julia Child’s finest. I felt like I knew God and he just shown Himself to me as true. He had not resisted my doubts, He had not hidden Himself in my quest.

As I look back, I see how God honored not the questions I was asking, but the honesty with which I was asking them. I was seeking Truth and he revealed Himself in Christ as ‘the Way, and the Truth and the Life’ (John 14:6). It has given me a peace over the years, knowing that God, the source of all Truth, will in no way be diminished by my questions, but will be both the source of my wisdom as I seek and the most complete and satisfying answer that I find.