Can I Doubt?

GodReflection: Life With The Unfair

garyguarujaQuickly in the beginning of the first act of the musical, Fiddler on the Roof, the old Jewish Dairyman Tevye, father of five daughters identifies with the human struggle.

He looks to the heavens and speaks with a strong voice: 

Dear God. Was that necessary? 

Did you have to make him lame just before the Sabbath? That wasn’t nice. It’s enough you pick on me. Bless me with five daughters, a life of poverty, that’s all right. But what have you got against my horse? 

Really, sometimes I think, when things are too quiet up there, you say to yourself, “Let’s see. What kind of mischief can I play on my friend, Tevye?” 

doubt4 . . .  As the Good Book says, “Heal us, O Lord, and we shall be healed. ” In other words, send us the cure. We’ve got the sickness already. Well, I’m not really complaining. After all, with your help, I’m starving to death. Oh, dear Lord! You made many, many poor people. I realize, of course, it’s no shame to be poor. But it’s no great honor either. So what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?

Since life seems to be as precarious as a fiddler on a roof, I’ve recited Tevye’s prayer more than once in time of doubt. I may have filled in the blanks differently but in essence it was the same prayer.

doubt3Truth is I would probably been more accurate not to blame God but to remember Satan still actively attempts to get in my way with the desire that my doubt becomes fatal denial.

I receive some encouragement when I read the psalms and the roll call of God’s Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11. I recall that many of them—while still close enough to God to share their hearts—expressed their doubts.

Sarah laughed in disbelief Isaac’s birth when God delivered His message to her by an angel. David didn’t understand why thousands of Israelite’s died for his sin against God in having the troops counted. The eleven men who would serve as Jesus’ apostles went through their valleys of doubt.

Matthew records that even as late as the assembly of the eleven to receive the famous last commission of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-19 “When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted (verse 17).

It was no accident that Holy Scripture records the response of a father to Jesus when he brought his mute and convulsive son to be healed. We all identify with the father’s words:

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

Although, God wants my full heart and I want Him to have all my heart, I suspect that He allows for my Adamic genes. Instead of judgement pronounced against me when I raise questions, might not my doubts bring a compassionate look from the Father and a heart that understands?

I would like to think that God understands my periodic unbelief as long as it comes from a believing heart—a heart that grows to allows less unbelief the more my reflection mirrors His.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on the Can I Doubt?





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About Dr. Gary Sorrells

From birth to death, I am God-wired. My body is not as energized as in earlier times, yet as my soul runs toward the finish line it carries a dream. I want to give glory to God by writing. Only now is the timing right to lean hard into this gift from God. For the first time in life, the totality of my God walk with family, the church, academic training, work experience, life scars, and accrued wisdom, provides value to share through the written word. It is as if all of the trails of life are crossing at this point. My formal education includes the B.A., M.A. and the Doctor of Ministry degrees in Bible from Abilene Christian University. Between 1980 and 2011, I worked with the Non-Profit entity, Great Cities Missions. I currently serve as Director Emeritus and as a member of the Board of Trustees. -Gary J Sorrells

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