By Robin Dance
Sometimes when our faith goes sideways, we need God to show up. We need Him to come to us, even if we’re not necessarily looking for Him.
Remarkably, He’s more than willing. After all, He did this very thing in the incarnation—when He left heaven, became a human, and came to our broken world in a way no one expected, as a king born in poverty. Everything about His coming was a miracle.
Sometimes we receive an assurance from God—a lifeline, a Godwink, or even a flat-out miracle—that indicates He sees us, knows us, loves us, and notices and cares about our broken places and emptiness.
Sometimes He’s generous to give us something we need whether or not we asked, even if we aren’t convinced the “I Am” even is. When we are struggling or even walking away, God can show up in unexpected ways.
When I was drowning, when I entertained the idea of letting go of my faith, God held onto me. He reached for me, not the other way around. In fact, looking back over my life, I see God did this on more than one occasion, in big ways and small.
His faithfulness showed up again and again, sometimes in ways I couldn’t necessarily see until later.
When my wilderness was new and disorienting, God threw me a lifeline in a Sunday-morning sermon, showing up despite my wrestle with belief.
I didn’t know or care if that sermon meant a thing to anyone else in the room, it was me and God and God and me that morning, and the hope it offered would become a thread tethering my faith for years as it drifted.
That morning my pastor explained that if you were struggling with unbelief, it didn’t mean you weren’t saved. God wasn’t caught off guard by our questions, and He wasn’t offended by our doubt.
But the kicker, the inspired message that gave me the hope I’d cling to in my spiritual desert, was my pastor’s suggestion that God could actually be using my doubt and questions as the means to woo me back to His side. Rather than heaping guilt or condemnation on my already sagging shoulders, he lifted my chin as if to say, “Everything’s going to be all right.”
Rather than viewing my questions as a sinister divide between God and myself, I began seeing them as a bridge. Question by question, slat by slat, my doubts were bringing me closer to truth, not driving me away. Wandering doesn’t always mean you’re walking away from God; sometimes you’re just taking the long way home.
Reframing my questions in a positive light, as both a vehicle for God’s grace and a means for me to seek Him was a game changer. It didn’t immediately quell my doubts—again, this was early in my wandering—but it extended the freedom for me to be honest, wrestle, and find a way back to Truth.
ROBIN DANCE (@robindance) is a writer, speaker, and contributor to the (in)courage community and The Art of Simple. She currently lives in Macon, Georgia, and online at robindance.me. Excerpted with permission from For All Who Wander by Robin Dance. Copyright 2020, B&H Publishing Group.