At age 20, I married my High School sweetheart. I was a Junior with a Biblical Studies major at Palm Beach Atlantic University with plans to go to seminary and become a youth pastor. About 6 weeks before graduation, my wife suddenly died from a blood clot to her lungs. My faith was wrecked.
If God was real, why would he allow her to die?
Why would a good God allow so much pain and suffering?
And why would he be so silent to my prayers?
I decided to delay seminary to begin a “however long it takes” journey to figure out what I really believed. It didn’t matter where it took me, I just wanted to believe what was true.
I stayed involved in the church because I knew that if God was real, I would find him among his people. But I also chose to go back to a non-Christian college to work on a pre-med major to dive deeper into my love for science. And most of all, I went to counseling to make sure I healed well. I didn’t want to become a bitter person.
I quickly learned that doubt was okay and that if God was real he could handle my doubts. In fact, Jude 1:22 is a command to be merciful to those who doubt. The prophet Hosea is a book about doubt. So is Habakkuk. And Thomas doubted after personally walking with Jesus for 3 years!
I discovered that for certain people, doubt is a huge motivation to search for the truth. But it also is a motivation for humility in the search since two people can look at the same evidence and come to different conclusions. Therefore, it’s best to discern people we can trust and engage in dialogue, even if (especially if!) they think differently.
My search kept leading me to the question of Jesus’ resurrection. If it happened, I’d be all in. If it didn’t, then I was out. During this search, I never dreamed how much evidence exists for Jesus’ resurrection. In fact, in spite of all my doubts about religion, the bible, and the church, it is the resurrection that kept bringing me back to Jesus. And now, almost 30 years later, it is the power of Jesus’ resurrection-life continually transforming other people that makes this doubter even more sure of his faith.
Jesus claimed to be “one” with God. He predicted that he would be killed and would rise again in 3 days. Therefore, if Jesus’ resurrection is real, and I am convinced it is, then Jesus is exactly who he said he was – God in the flesh who can be trusted with my entire life. The hope and assurance this offers me is indescribable.