“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Do you wonder sometimes if God is real? Do you sometimes find it really hard to believe God’s promises, or that what He says is true?
You are not alone. Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun, became famous for helping the poor in Calcutta, India. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts in 1979, and her name has become associated with compassion across the world. Yet, when people read her journals after she died, it became clear that Mother Teresa had worked for nearly fifty years without feeling like God was there. She faced numerous periods of doubt about her faith. For example, she wrote, “When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul.”
If you have doubts, or wonder if God really hears you, I urge you to take a few lessons from Mother Teresa. First, seek answers to your doubts. It is okay to have questions, but it is not okay to use questions as a reason for inaction. Read your Bible, find other books on the topic you have questions about, and ask wise people to help you find answers. Also, don’t let your doubts in one area stop you from doing other actions that you know are good. Mother Teresa kept going in her mission to help the poor, even when she wondered if God cared.
Second, keep praying to God anyway. Mother Teresa filled many journals with prayers expressing her sadness that she could not feel God’s presence. It’s okay to tell God that you have doubts, or to tell Him that you just aren’t sure that He’s there, or even to be mad at God. God is more than strong enough to handle it, and He loves you even when you aren’t sure that He is listening.