YOUR GOD IS TOO SMALL
I Doubt It
July 13, 2008
In the second sermon of this series, Ben discusses his own personal journey as a Christian and how he started wading into the pool of doubt and skepticism. Because our questions can either lead us away from God or draw us closer to Him, Ben will challenge and encourage you to go to God with your questions and doubts. God wants us to bring our questions to Him and He wants us to know that He is bigger than our doubts.
Do me a favor today. If you are on the far right hand side of the pew, look under the pew and you will find some multi-colored cards—green, pink and blue. Take a card and pass it down. For those of you who are members here, don’t panic. You don’t have to put an amount on it; that is in February! Take your card, and flip it over to the blank side. Don’t use the side with the lines. That’s a little too linear for us today. I want you to write one word in the upper left hand corner. One word. I’m doing it too. Write the word God. Then put a comma after God. Take that card and just hold on to it. We’ll get back to it later on in the service. Put it in your Bible, or put it in the rack there; but don’t lose it. Hold on to your “God” card.
I want to read you what I think is one of the most bizarre passages in the New Testament. I just find this Scripture really strange. When I tell you the address, you’re probably going to think, “What?” Matthew 28:16-20 is the passage that I find to be strange. Look at verse 16, “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him, they worshipped Him, but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority on Heaven and earth has been given to Me.’” That’s a lot of authority on both sides of the wall! “‘Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you, and surely I am with you to the very end of the age.’”
Did you catch the bizarre part there? I didn’t catch it for probably 20 years. I’ve read this passage over, and over again, but just a few years back, it just kind of popped out to me. I find it to be quite strange. Here is the context: You have eleven disciples. Judas had killed himself; but these eleven disciples had been with Jesus three years. They had eaten with Him; they’d hung out with Him; they’d been on many excursions together. They had seen blind people regain their sight; deaf people hear; lame people walk. They had seen Jesus feed 5,000 people with a simple Happy Meal, walk on the water without a bridge, and raise Lazarus from the dead. They saw Him stripped naked, crucified by the Roman authorities, and laid in the tomb. They were scared spit-less, so they hid in an upper room. Three days later, Jesus Christ appeared to them. Over a 40 day period, He appeared to over 500 eyewitnesses.
This is the 40th day, and He is about to commission them to go out and take the message of the grace, truth and love of Jesus around the world to all cultures and people. Here He is on this mountain where He told them He would be, and it says, “Some worshipped, but some doubted…”
Call me crazy, but I don’t think I would have doubted if I’d seen all those fireworks and supernatural acts. Some doubted. I find that astonishing. But, if I were to reflect for just a little bit and be honest, I can’t judge these doubting disciples too harshly because I’ve done the very same thing.
My journey with God started in a small mill town in Canton, North Carolina. That’s where the God journey started for me. Canton was a great little town of about 5,000 people near Asheville. There is a photo of me when I was little. Look at that big old ham head, and the little bitty body. That’s me when I was a little bitty tyke in Canton. I was eating some ice cream. My brother Ed, who is two years older than me, has a country church up in Dallas. Check this out. I’m Batman, and he’s Robin. He’s a head taller than me—he’s older. The reason he says that he’s Robin—if you know Ed, you can appreciate this if you watch him on T.V.—he said he liked Robin’s costume better! I think it’s because I was smarter, but anyway…
We grew up, and we had a lot of fun. There were just two boys then in our family. People would ask, “What was it like growing up in your home?” Well, we basically fought every day until we were fifteen. That’s what boys do, and so many mothers of boys say, “My kids fight!” We fought every day! We took a beating for it too, but anyway, we had a great time growing up, especially in North Carolina. We had all four seasons there. When it snowed, we’d have this big old sled, and we’d go down the hill. It was a great childhood in many ways.
My mom likes to tell the story of when we went out to this gigantic Christmas tree farm when I was four years old. I was looking over a valley at hills of Christmas trees stretching for miles and miles. I looked up, and I said out loud, “This is God’s beautiful world!” My mom has always remembered that story and she loves to tell it. I think it’s interesting—I don’t think there have been many four year old atheists in the world! Not even Richard Dawkins’ son. There is something built in kids that when you are born, and you grow up and see the world and its complexities, you realize that there is a big God behind all of it. I knew that intuitively. I was also raised in a family that believed in God and the Bible, and they tried to teach my brother and me how to live out the words of the Bible. That’s what our family was like growing up. They nurtured our belief, our faith, and our trust in God at a very young age. I’m thankful for that.
After five years in North Carolina, my dad got a call from a church in Taylors, South Carolina, which is just outside of Greenville. They asked him if he would come and be the pastor of their church, the First Baptist Church of Taylors. At the time my dad was the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Canton. My dad prayed about it, thought about it, and talked to my mom about it. I don’t know if we had a family meeting back then or not, but if we did, it meant we were moving. So we moved to Taylors. Taylors was a great town. There were a lot of young families there, and it was a great place to live for just a little while.
One Sunday after church when I was seven years old, I was in the backyard with my dad and this college guy named Jim Oliver. Our church was located pretty close to Furman University, so we had a lot of college kids who came to our church, and we had a fantastic youth ministry. It was during the 60’s and on Friday nights we’d have these acid-rock concerts at our church in our fellowship hall, and my parents wouldn’t let Ed or me go to them because they were so wild. That’s how edgy it was! Anyway, I regress. My story is, it was Sunday afternoon and we were in the backyard lying on beach towels in the sun. That is before we knew about sun block, skin cancer, and whatnot…We were catching rays, and I remember telling my dad, “Hey dad, I want to become a Christian. I want to ask Jesus into my life.” He said, “Well, let me explain this to you,” and I think he went through the four spiritual laws. That was a little pamphlet that was put out many years ago by Bill Bright that explained the Christian message, and the terms of laws. In other words, it said if there are natural laws and scientific laws, there are also spiritual laws. There are four spiritual laws according to this booklet. That’s what my dad shared with me. The first law was, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life!” That’s a good law, right? The second law was bad news, “We are all sinners, and we have messed up and are separated from God.” The third law was, “Jesus Christ died on the Cross to bring us back to God and forgive us.” The fourth law was critical, and it called for a decision, and you had to ask Jesus to come into your heart and trust Him if you were to receive the benefits of the Cross and what He did for you.
I remember as a little tyke asking Christ to come into my life. Then on a Sunday night at church, at the end of the service we had an invitation, a time of decision (like we do here). People could come and walk down front and become a Christian by trusting in Christ. You could join the church, or rededicate your life. You could rededicate your rededications, and all those things that the Baptist tradition did. I remember that night I was on the second row, because it was a long aisle. During the hymn, Just As I Am, in the second stanza, I got up and walked down and shook the hand of the pastor/dad. I made it official, telling everybody, “Hey. I really want to follow Christ!”
Then later, I was taken up into a swimming pool kind of deal and was baptized. That kind of began my official relationship, if you would, with Christ and with the church.
In many ways back then, it was a magical time in the history of the church in America, because we were just coming out of the 60’s where there was a moral, political, and sexual revolution in our country. There was a movement going on that started on the West Coast called The Jesus Movement. What happened was that people who had been stoned out on drugs (LSD, acid, etc.) were coming and experiencing Jesus out on the streets. You had all these long-haired guys with beards and long-haired ladies who were into Jesus called “Jesus Freaks.” They brought their music, and that’s kind of how the whole electric guitar and band stuff eventually found its way into the church. You can trace it back to The Jesus Movement.
I remember hearing a story about one of the guys who came to our church to speak, Rick Carrino. This guy was a member of Hell’s Angel’s Motorcycle Gang. That was the most notorious gang in the nation at the time. To get into Hell’s Angels—one of the things he had to do, I won’t forget this, was to eat an entire cat! Sorry about the breakfast, folks. But he had to eat an entire cat. He was in Hell’s Angels, doing whatever Hell’s Angels do—I guess raising hell. Rick had a bad LSD trip and his fellow riders thought he’d overdosed and died, so they threw him in a dumpster. A dumpster was going to be his grave. He lay there for a couple of days until he woke up out of his drug coma, and he was still alive. Somehow, he found his way to someone who told him about Christ. Christ radically changed Rick’s life!
So as a young little tyke, seven or eight years old; I got to see firsthand this incredible move of God that started on the West Coast. It finally made its way to the East Coast and to the South, all these young people – tens of thousands coming to know Christ in a real, authentic way! I had the privilege to watch that.
After three years in Taylors, a phone call came from another church. It was from First Baptist Church of Columbia, South Carolina. They asked my dad to come be pastor of that church. So he prayed about it and thought about it and deliberated; and sure enough, we loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly, also known as Columbia. It was a big move for us, because Columbia was what we thought was a big town. A lot of you have not even heard of it; but it is where The University of South Carolina is located. We were big South Carolina fans—Game Cock fans; so we liked that. It was a different place.
This church was located smack-dab in the middle of downtown Columbia, right by the YMCA. This church was also an historical landmark for the state of South Carolina and for the nation.
After the Civil War, Sherman was going through and burning down Atlanta. You remember the documentary on that, Gone with the Wind. After he went through Atlanta, he came to Columbia and wanted to burn down the First Baptist Church of Columbia. That was eventually where my dad would pastor. You say, “Why did he want to burn the church down?” The documents that the politicians and leaders of South Carolina signed to secede from the Union were signed on the Lord’s Supper Table in our chapel. South Carolina was the first state to secede, that’s Southern. Sherman wanted to burn this church down to the ground. He was marching through Columbia, and there was a janitor out on the front of the church on the steps sweeping. Sherman and his men came through, and asked, “Where is the First Baptist Church?” The janitor said, “Right down there around the corner” pointing to the Methodist Church! This is written on the marker. Sherman and his men burned down the Methodist Church. The First Baptist Church with its red brick columns stood, and it’s still standing today.
When my dad was called to that church to be the pastor, you can imagine there were some great and Godly people there, but it was a deep, traditional church. The amount of traditionalism and racism that he had to battle there was unbelievable, but God used him and used the staff there in a mighty way. That was a big time in my life, because we lived in Columbia for about seven years during my middle school years.
During that time of your life things are changing, if you can remember that. Your body is changing, your voice is changing, and your desires are changing. Guys start liking people of the opposite sex, and girls become attractive. There was this girl that I was attracted to, named Allison. I was in 7th grade, but I looked like I was in 2nd grade. I was really skinny back then. Allison was in 7th grade, but she looked like she was twenty-seven. No lie. She was a blond bomb shell, mature, the total package. College guys in our ministry would hit on her, not knowing that they were about to break the law. I had some grandiose idea that little, skinny me could somehow get a date, or ask Allison to “go” with me. Back then, that’s what we did. You didn’t say, “Are you going out?” You said, “Will you go with me?” You would ask them that. It was weird that you never went any place. Also, you never actually talked to the person. Maybe that’s why male/female relationships worked so well back then.
Anyhow, I saw Allison at a church function, and I went up to her and looked her in the eye, and I said, “Allison, will you go…” No, that’s not what I did! This is junior high, folks. Back then, you never talked directly to a member of the opposite sex! Never! You had to go through their agent, who is their pretty, but not-as-pretty best friend.
One night, Allison and her friend were having a sleepover, so I called her on the phone. Her friend, Beth, answered the phone. I said, “Beth?” She said, “Yeah?” “Uh, this is uh, Ben, and um, I was wondering, um, if you could ask, um Allison if she would maybe want to go with me?” She puts the phone down, and I could hear muffled voices in the background. Then Beth gets back on the phone, and she utters the six cruelest words ever assembled in the English language! Beth said, “Allison said she just wants to be friends.” Whoo-hoo! Game, set, match! Dagger in my heart! I pulled it out, hung up the phone, ran to my bedroom, buried my face in this synthetic, blue fur bed spread—yeah, out of the Greg Brady attic collection, and I cried and cried! I remember saying, “God, why can I not have a girlfriend like my older brother? Why did You make me so skinny?” As if it was all His fault! That’s the first “Why-me, why God” prayer I ever remember uttering as a kid.
Eventually, I got over that and moved on in 7th and 8th grade. Back then, I was encouraged by the people at church to read my Bible, every day. A new Bible came out during this time called The Living Bible. It was a paraphrase. Back then, you basically had The Living Bible and the King James. The Living Bible was controversial because it put the Bible in modern-day language so that people could understand it. God forbid that you’d have a translation of the Bible that people could understand. Anyway, keep those Thou’s, and Thine’s and confuse them.
I started reading this Living Bible. This is the very one that I read; it’s still got my name and address on it, as well as phone number. I would read a chapter every night before I went to bed. I’d start in Matthew, and go all the way to Revelation, and read through the entire New Testament. I liked the New Testament, with the exception of Matthew 7, and Matthew 25. Those chapters really scared me, and they still scare me. But the good thing about that was that the Bible and the Word of God became an anchor in my life.
Let me say this: Obviously I grew up in a home where both my parents were Christians. I’m probably a fourth generation Christian. My dad was a pastor, but he raised my brother and me, and eventually Cliff to be Christians. It wasn’t like, “Okay—I’m a preacher. You need to be a preacher’s kid. You need to do this because…” No, no, no! We do this because we’re Christians, and because we’re trying to follow Christ. My house was very normal.
My parents didn’t come home and say, “Now Ben, have you memorized I Chronicles yet? How is that going for you? Well, hallelujah, Edwin! I’m glad you’re home from work! Praise God, JoBeth!” It wasn’t that way in my household. Christianity and the church was not something we talked about all the time. It was something we lived out. I saw this modeled for me by my parents. We probably talked more about basketball than anything else; sports is kind of what got us through the wonder years/awkward years. But I’m thankful for having parents that raised us in that way.
As my junior high years were coming to an end, my parents had a family conference. The last family conference we had, we found out my mom was pregnant with Cliff, who is nine years younger than I am. So I thought, either my mom was pregnant (which I didn’t think was possible) or here comes The Mayflower moving van again. Sure enough, we were moving to Houston, Texas. Talk about a paradigm shift from Columbia, South Carolina, to Houston, Texas, the 4th largest city in the nation. If you’re not from Texas, you have these images of what Texas is like. A tumbleweed rolling down the street, and everybody in a cowboy hat with an oil well in the backyard, which we all need right now.
When we arrived here in Houston, it was wild. I can remember driving over that long bridge in Louisiana. My brother had this light blue, baby blue Regal with a landau roof. Remember that cushy, landau roof? Do I have a witness? He had this sunroof, and he had his hands sticking out the sunroof because it looked like really good fishing underneath the bridge. He and my brother Cliff like to fish. I hate it!
Anyway, we got here to Houston, and it was great. We now had professional sports in our own city. We thought that was fantastic. I can remember in ‘68 when the Astrodome was built, my brother and I thought that Heaven had come down to earth. An indoor arena for all three sports—whoo! We were glad to be in Houston for the sports alone. I went to high school here, and continued to pour myself into school and into study, and basketball. We had a great youth group back then here at Second Baptist of about three people. It was really small.
I remember when we first got here on a Sunday night in August; we were sitting down in the old sanctuary. I turned around and looked, and the place was just empty. It was pew city. We had left this thriving church in the capital city of South Carolina, and I was like, “What are we doing at Second Baptist?” I remember thinking, “Man, my dad is crazy! Why did he come here? We had so much going on. I liked the city, but wow. This church is just not happening!”
In high school, we had a really good youth group, and I had great youth leaders who really cared for us, and poured themselves into us. That helped my brother and me survive high school. I think high school for most people is something that you survive, not thrive! I mean there are a couple—every class has the beautiful people who already look mature, and have it all together, and have smooth faces, and they’re all this and that…but most people are kind of like I was. Show me there in that tux! Nice! Yeah, that’s nice! Most people were like that—you were skinny, gangly, fat, or wherever you were in-between. Clearasil was your best friend. The youth group and basketball helped me to survive those years.
Then college came around, and that was a lot of fun. I met a lot of great friends in college who I’m still close to today. Jimmy Seibert is one of my close friends. I roomed with him for three years at school. Sam Adams (who is now a psychologist), Dave Riggle, (who works here on staff), and Robert Hurley are still good friends of mine from college. I made some really great friendships in college
My senior year in college was a real time of transition in my life; and to steal a phrase from Dickens, “These were the best of times, and these were the worst of times.” I’ll deal with the best of times first. The best thing that happened to me in college was that I met this beautiful, vivacious girl who was probably the most popular, sold-out girl on campus. I was this kind of reclusive, semi-nerd, study guy. I didn’t really engage in life that much, and somehow we got together and fell in love, and we’re still in love and have been married seventeen years. That’s my wife Elliott. There’s a photo of us the night before we got married.
That was the best part of my senior year. Best of times and the worst of times! My senior year was weird. I had found all these friends of mine throughout college who really loved God and Christ. They were from all different denominational expressions, and we got together and said, “Okay, our senior year, we’re going to live in the same house, all six guys, and we’re going to bring revival, whatever that is, kind of a Jesus movement, to our university.” That was our goal.
The first Sunday, we all went to a church that was the most radical in town. It was a growing, happening church. The long time pastor of the church was a national figure at the time and known locally as well, of course. He was married and had two kids. He got up the first Sunday we attended, the very first Sunday of the school year and announced that he had been having a homosexual affair for nine years! That church didn’t split after that; it shattered into a trillion pieces! A lot of people left the church.
I thought about leaving, although I hadn’t really gone to it consistently. But I remember thinking, “You know what? This church needs me right now!” A church doesn’t need you when things are going great, but when your pastor has problems and issues and leaves, that’s when you are really needed. So I stayed there, and I’m so glad I did. I had a great Bible teacher/Sunday School teacher by the name of Jaime Lash who taught me about identity, and what it means to be in Christ. The pastor who stepped in was an older guy, a great guy named Charles Davis. He stepped in and did a fantastic job. So that was a horrific part and a good part at the same time.
Also that year, my friends and I were really into seeing God move in a supernatural way. We wanted God to do a miracle; to heal somebody; to cast demons out of people. We wanted to witness to street people and we had this idea of taking the Gospel to the street, and also watching the supernatural power of God happen. One of my friends, Bill Hill, was on campus one day and came up on a wreck. The ambulance lights were going and the sirens were blaring. A bicycle was turned over, and the wheel was spinning. There was a car there and people crowded around, and Bill thought to himself, “Whew! This is it! I’m going to be able to go up to this wreck, find the dead person, and raise him from the dead!” True story! So he gets up closer to the wreck, and he notices as he gets closer that it’s really not a real wreck! It’s one of those mock wrecks—what to do in case of an accident or emergency. So Bill came back to the house that day, and he was like, “Man! I’m so bummed!” He was bummed that it wasn’t a real accident and he didn’t have a chance to raise someone from the dead!
You say, “How’d you get there? How did you get to that place in your life?” Well, if you read the Scripture, Jesus said to His disciples, “Greater works that you will do than I did!” It says, “If you believe in My Name, anything is possible! Ask and you shall receive! Seek and you shall find! Knock and it shall be opened to you! These signs shall follow those people who believe!” We believed, we were praying, and we were hoping that God was going to come through and show up in a big way.
But about then, something bizarre happened, something strange. For some reason, I began to wade into the pool of doubt and skepticism. It was like when you go swimming, and you get in at the shallow end. I was at first in the shallow end of doubt, and I was praying and wondering, “God, why aren’t You answering my prayer?” Then from there, I went more into the 5 ft. level, the chest level of doubt, and I thought, “Maybe this prayer thing doesn’t work!” Then I went deeper into the deep end of the pool where my nose was barely out the water, and I had to paddle a little bit, and I was asking the question, “Well, not only does prayer not work; maybe God doesn’t work!”
Finally, I got to a point in my doubt where I was totally submerged. I said, “Maybe there isn’t a God. Maybe this is not God’s beautiful world. Maybe this is some random accident. Maybe we’re not God’s special people. Maybe we are just a glob of molecules that got together that one day walked out of some primordial soup that was struck by lightning. Maybe we’re not made in God’s image. Maybe we’re simply lucky mud. Maybe Oprah’s right. Maybe there are multiple paths to God. What if I’d been born in India, or in Saudi Arabia? I probably wouldn’t be a Christian. Why did Jesus come to Israel, this small little country, this little spec in the middle of the vast Roman Empire? Why didn’t He go to China, or India, more populated places? Why didn’t He go to all those places if Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life? It seems like God would give everybody a fair chance, right, if there is a God? Maybe the Bible is not really God’s Word. There is a lot in the Bible I don’t understand. There are a lot of things in the Bible that seemingly contradict one another. There are a lot of concepts, and supernatural events that have no place to hang my hat on. I don’t understand them, and I’ve never actually seen them in my life.” All of these questions started building, and building, and building over months.
I graduated from college and went into graduate school, and these questions, doubts, and skepticism kept going on, and on, and on. I was drowning in a sea of doubt! I would come up for air, I would believe, but then I would say, “God, help me believe, or help my unbelief!” I always believed, like that song, that there was a hole in the wall, and that was the hole of the light that Christ got through; but I was beginning to believe that maybe we are in this dark room of existence, and there really are no answers, and people really cannot know anything for sure. I was tearing things apart, and deconstructing them, and analyzing them. I was involved in hyper-analyzation.
I called it “analysis paralysis.” It was freezing me out. As I would go through my days my waking hours were intense. I could not sleep at night. I remember teaching a Bible study in Dallas for some teenagers and some students, and afterwards I’d go back in my room and just cry and say, “I don’t know if I really believe this!”
So I was swimming in doubt, and swimming in anxiety for a long, long time for many years. As I look back on it, I realized this one thing: Despite my wavering; despite my internal agnosticism for many years, that God was still with me. This God, who for a long time I had trouble believing in, was actually bigger than my doubts. As I read more of the Scripture, I discovered in Job, Ecclesiastes, and Lamentations, and other passages where God even allows us, or encourages us to ask questions.
Obviously, you are probably wondering, “Well how did you get out of that doubt, and what did you do?” I tried many things to get out of the doubt, and it didn’t work. Obviously I got out of it somewhat, or I wouldn’t be here today. But next week, we’ll talk more about that, and I’m going to tell you some things that God did in my life to bring me out of that.
I know that in talking about questioning, doubts and skepticism, a lot of people do that alone. A lot of people doubt and question God, either inside the church or outside it, and they question God all alone. A lot of times, I think people feel totally shameful and guilt-ridden because they have these nagging questions. I think if God could say anything to us today, I believe He would say, “You know what? It’s okay to ask questions, because I allow you to ask questions!” God is not only the God that asks questions; He is the God who gives us the mind, and places us in a situation or predicament, or an existence which forces us to cry out for questions. Our questions can either lead us away from God, or they can draw us closer to God. The doubt can both build and strengthen our faith, or it can cause us to leave, and to lose our faith.
I want you to do something for me. If you’ll pull your God card out again, and get a pen or pencil. Write out on that card a question that you have for God. Maybe it’s a question that you think is minor. Maybe it’s a question that is major. Maybe it is a doubt that you have, or a fear that you have. I think if I had to write out all my questions for God, I would need every single card in this worship center today, and then some. Write your question out, if you would. I’m going to write a question out myself. Write it down in that blank space there, whatever it is that is on your heart and mind.
I’m going to ask our ushers to come forward right now—just stand up, wherever you are. They have some buckets, and you can just put your questions in those buckets. This is a second offering, but no money involved. Rarely do you find that in any church today. These questions are a form of an offering, or a prayer unto God. Take your card and put it in the bucket; then our ushers are going to come and place them right here on the altar, right here before the Word of God that is open.
God is a God who calls us to bring our questions to Him. My prayer for you today and my prayer for myself as well is that whatever question you wrote down on that card will draw you closer to the God who made you, and the God who knows you! I don’t know where you are in your journey, and maybe you couldn’t even write “God” in the corner, but I want you to know that you’ve come to a place where it’s okay to ask questions. It’s okay to seek.
I want you to know if you are a Christian, it’s all right to have questions. It’s all right to doubt. Some worshipped, and some doubted. May your doubts, may your questions lead you to God, closer to Him today and this week as we look more into it.
If you want to keep your card, you can do that. There’s no pressure there. Maybe it’s not about finding answers; maybe it’s about asking questions. Even Jesus asked, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Many of the chapters in the Book of Psalms are just psalms of questions, psalms of David feeling utterly abandoned by God. He cries out, “God, don’t You hear me? Can’t You answer me? Throw me a line, an e-mail, or at least a text-message? Something God? I’m drowning here in my tears. I seek You day and night, but I can’t hear You anymore. My bones are wasting away.” David was known as a man after God’s own heart.
Would you bow your head with me? God, we give You ourselves here today, and God, we give You our questions. Lord, we place these questions today on Your altar. God, we are crying out to You today, and we’re asking Lord that You would help us! Help us, Lord, those of us here who are drowning in a sea of questions and doubt! Lord, I pray that You would throw a line down and give us light! Throw a line down and rescue us and pull us out.
Father, others here are walking with You, and doubt is not their deal. They need other kind of light and direction. God, we thank You, and I thank You for all these questions that are here on these cards. God, You know us, and You know our needs, and You know what Your plan and Your will is for our lives. Lord, You know that Your will cannot be stopped or thwarted in any way, no matter how many questions we have, no matter how many ditches we fall into, no matter how many times we feel paralyzed, and we don’t feel worthy, or we mess up. God, You call us back to You. Sometimes God, we run back. Sometimes, we crawl back. Sometimes God, You just have to pick us up and carry us back. Lord, we thank You that You do that. In Jesus name…Amen.