I remember finding this video (video is posted below this blog post) when I was going through a time of doubting God in my life. This doubt came because of what I called my “dry spell.”
After high school, clinical depression and generalized anxiety hit me like a truck. I dealt with suicidal thoughts on a daily basis. I didn't understand why I was going through it; I had gone to church all of my life, I read my Bible, I prayed, I sang at church. I was doing everything that I knew to do to be a good Christian, but the depression and anxiety didn't go away. I'll save the rest of that story for another time.
I fought with everything I had and I slowly began to see progress with my depression and anxiety, but I still wondered why God put me through it. I can remember night after night of crying out to God but felt like I was just talking to the walls around me and the roof over me. If I was doing everything that I had been taught to do for a successful Christian life, then why did God feel like He was a million miles away?
Did He not care about me? I begged and begged for God to give me a sign to prove to me that He heard my prayers and still cared about me.
I remember one night in particular that I was begging God for a sign. It was the night of a meteor shower and I couldn't sleep. I decided to take a blanket into my back yard and lay under the stars. I started praying. At first, my prayer was your typical prayer; I thanked God for my house, my job, my health. I prayed for a few prayer requests that I had but I felt like my prayers weren't even touching the sky. I began to cry as I felt so alone. I was living alone and I couldn't even feel my God's presence to keep me company. I begged God for a sign that he still cared about me... that He hadn't forsaken me. I prayed that God would allow two meteors to intersect in the sky and then I would know that he heard my cries. I begged and pleaded. I told God that if He didn't give me my sign, I didn't think I could serve Him. How could I serve someone that I didn't feel like even heard me when I prayed? I laid out there in my yard for two hours with tears streaming down my face just waiting for my sign. My sign didn't come.
I was so mad at God. Why wouldn't he want to show me that he loved me and cared about me? I thought about giving up, but then what would I do? Where would I go? I had nothing to go back to.
I went inside my house and laid in my bed. I pulled out my phone and opened Google and typed in the words “doubting God.” It was the third result down – a video. It was called “A Shadow Of A Doubt (Spoken Word).” I clicked on it not knowing the awesome video that I had found.
I locked my phone after I had watched the video and sat it down. Was that my sign? Did God send me that video? I couldn't be sure, but one thing I was sure about was that I couldn't give up. After all... we are to walk by faith, not by sight. I had to remind myself that “faith” didn't mean feelings or emotions.
I fell asleep there on my bed as I was completely exhausted.
I woke up the next morning and I still couldn't feel God, but I prayed anyway. I told God that I would keep pushing through as long as I could. I told Him that I would continue to serve Him even if I never felt him again. That was hard, but that's what I did. I pushed through. I wish I could say that I casually strolled through, but it was a constant uphill battle – I had to push.
It was over a year later that I finally got my sign from God. I was in a new house, had a new job, but still carried around my doubts. I was sitting in the office at work with three other coworkers when two of them said they needed to leave to run an errand, leaving only me and another coworker, who was a very strong, devout Christian lady. I remember her looking at me with a smile and saying “This is a God thing.” I asked her what she meant and she went on to explain to me that God had asked her to share something with me, but she didn't know when the time would come when she would be able to. She expressed that God gave her that exact moment to share with me. What other time would it work out to be just her and I in the office alone? I didn't expect much, honestly. I was still swimming in an ocean of doubts. I asked her what she was supposed to tell me. My eyes filled with tears as God finally gave me my sign. She told me:
“I don't know what this means but God assured me that you would understand. He told me to tell you that He hears you and He loves you. He says to let go of whatever it is that you're holding onto and just believe that He cares about you. You are His.”
To this day I still can't explain the feeling that came as she told me those words. It felt like God came down and embraced me in a hug. I could feel God. How could my coworker know to answer the exact doubts I was having? I knew it was God. I thanked her for her obedience to God because she had no idea what she had done for me through Him. I explained to her about how I was in a dry spell for three years. I explained how I couldn't feel God, how I didn't know if He could even hear me or if He even cared. She looked at me and grinned... “You call it a dry spell – I call it the refining fire. God was molding you and strengthening you. You didn't understand it then, but you are stronger now because of it.”
Wow! I was looking at the whole thing negatively. I saw it as punishment. All I could feel was loneliness, but God was right beside me the entire time. What I saw as a dry spell was really God's refining fire; just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came through the fire with a stronger faith and trust in the Lord.
What about you? Are you struggling with doubt? You're not alone. There are still days that I doubt, but I cling to God's promises. God tells us in His Word that He will never leave us or forsake us. Cling to that promise – hold onto it like it is your life preserver in a stormy sea of doubt.
Watch the video below and truly think about the message. I hope it blesses you as much as it did me.