ReligionMay 29, 2024
Struggling with faith? Discover how embracing doubt can deepen your spiritual journey. Minister Rod Parchman shares insights on nurturing belief, witnessing miracles, and the importance of cultivating your faith.
Rod Parchman column (SAINT UP!)
Rod Parchman
Rod Parchman

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

I’m slow to be critical of nonbelievers. I can’t remember not believing, but how can I judge harshly, knowing my capacity for faith is a gift? Of course I’ve had doubts. I questioned the faith altogether once in a single moment brought on by an unending, dreadful night of languishing abandonment. But there on the backside of blackness, in back of beyond, down to bare bones and soul starvation, even there, life without believing I could not savvy.

Remembering that dreadful darkness allows patience with those struggling to believe. I also recall my advantage regarding a faith heritage. I have often witnessed miracles and have seen the changed lives of converts (the miraculous at its best), and heard their come-to-faith stories (the best of stories). Answered prayers are many in the faith community, and I’ve experienced the felt presence of God too often to count, undeniable as a sunset. I’ve known real-deal saints up close — unheralded faith heroes whose lives (imperfections not excluded) are enough to satisfy the search for truth. So, if I can have doubts....

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The capacity to see, hear, believe and obey is a gift. What will you do with it? You can refuse and pretend not to see. Just be honest about the pretense. You can deny the uncanny parade of coincidences knocking on your door, an invitation to newness, or you can relent, repent, allowing humility to work, letting the tears come, the curtains pulled back on a new day — that intuited missing dimension. Be truthful. In fact, you have seen the unseen hand. It would be criminal to deny. I Am romances your soul.

And if you are a believer, remember: The gift must not be taken for granted. Without being tended, even Eden turns to weeds. Be intentional. Cultivate your faith. When John the Baptist had his moment of doubt in the dungeon, Jesus sent no help but these words, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.” (Mt 11:4-6).

ROD PARCHMAN is a minister in Cunningham, Tennessee, with ties to Bollinger County.

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