Does doubt about God’s presence ever affect us?
The answer is a resounding yes, especially when the agonizing fear of failure becomes an annoying reality for us. The loss of a memory, even if only temporary, can have a devastating effect on any of us when that theme lies heavy upon our position as a leader. The homily I forgot on a particular Sunday was more than enough to unsettle my ability to preach. As I wrote about this several times it is the most perfect relief when the Holy Spirit takes over and comes to our rescue, not in just speaking for us but reminding us our insignificance is not without trust and his relevance in our finiteness.
If God had created us to react to everything our lives may encounter as a robot we would develop an unbelieving attitude. Can one even imagine many numbers of persons all with the same attitude or worse personality exactly like the one next to us? What type of society would this be like? Assuredly, there would not be crimes since hurting another would reflect on our own individuality. We would be like two peas in a pod.
Differences in each individual makes our existence unique since we do not look alike, speak the same language, like the same pleasure to appease our individual tastes, or have the same exact needs due to the weaknesses within each of us.
However, the most serious failure of acting as a robot would be the absence of the essence of our creator God. Free will is the most intense gift that God created us with individually without any semblance of our neighbors’ gift. By free will each person will find his/her way to reach the presence of God finding his purpose with each one of us. No one will be copying his neighbors needs but an individual path to the grace the Lord endows us with.
Just a reminder about free will that without it we could not find our eternal life in heaven with Almighty God and would exist in an eternal darkness because we didn’t seek God by our own desire. Does free will have an undesirable side effect? Yes!
Unfortunately, as with our most recent public disaster in a Texas classroom, an 18 year old boy killed 21 people, 19 children and two women teachers. He used his free will and had no opportunity to repent. Free will: used as a way to God a tremendous gift. Used as a means of evil; a trip into eternity which may be their loss of heaven
That is why through grace alone will each person discover that our answer to be with God is not our own effort but the result of a free gift from God alone. Our only requirement is to accept what God gives so freely to each of his children. We can’t earn anything from a loving God, just hold on to the never-ending love that is ours. This may clear our question of doubt!
Ralph B. HathawayJune 2022