Years ago, I spent a weekend with a whole lot of people in a 3 bedroom house. It wasn’t terrible, but it was tight. There were two bathrooms and an average size water heater. For obvious reasons, we were encouraged to keep showers brief.
When it was my turn, I closed and locked the bathroom door. Then I checked it at least ten times, because I am terribly afraid of someone walking in on me in the bathroom. Terribly afraid. I walked over to the shower, and I panicked a little. It had one of those round knobs that controls the hot and cold in one place, and it also turned the water on. You know the ones I mean. The ones that take a special college degree to control properly. I was a mere college freshman at the time, so I was baffled. (Truth: I have 30 hours toward a master’s degree, and I still ask my husband to turn the water on for me if a shower has one of these knobs.)
I probably jumped for joy a little when water started gushing out of the shower head. I was proud! Within seconds, though, I realized I had a problem. The water was VERY hot. Almost scalding hot, at least in my estimation. (I HATE hot showers, so it may not have been that bad.) I turned the shower knob every direction possible, and scalding hot water was the only result. At the tender age of eighteen, I was too embarrassed to ask for help. “Um, could someone help me, please? I don’t know how to work the shower.” Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen. I braved the lava masked as water erupting from the 1960s shower head. I almost cried as I tried to wash my hair and my body without any water touching me. I winced, and I leaned, and I dodged. Finally, it was over. I turned off the water and emerged from the shower, bright red and victorious. The lava shower did not defeat me.
After my adventure in the shower, I walked into the family room. Someone asked, “How was your shower?” I chuckled and said, “That was the hottest shower I’ve EVER taken!” Before I could continue my story, explaining WHY it was the hottest shower I had ever taken, I was interrupted. “That was inconsiderate of you,” he quipped, disappointment all over his face.
I froze. I stammered. I shrugged. I didn’t tell my story. I felt defeated.
I am by no means a perfect person, and I know I wasn’t perfect 16 years ago, but I strive to be considerate of others. I thought this person knew me. If he did, he wouldn’t have doubted me in that moment, would he? Surely, he would have known there was a reason for my action. He would have thought the best of me, right?
It was a quick exchange. A blip in my life, really. But those words have haunted me for years. They’re in my sticky brain, as my sweet friend Tara calls it. This moment in my life came to mind as I was reflecting on God’s character this week.
You see, I’ve been struggling and doubting Him lately. A lot. My trust has wavered. It’s like I’ve forgotten who He is.
A lyric from one of J.J. Heller’s songs has been in my head for days. It’s there when my eyes pop open in the mornings. It’s there when I’m riding in the car. It’s in the shower. In our den as I watch way too many tear-inducing episodes of Parenthood. It’s still there when I crawl into bed at night.
“I don’t know what You’re doing, but I know who You are.”
Over and over and over again. One line. One powerful line that stirred my heart toward repentance.
“Lord, I don’t know what You’re doing, but I know who You are. I’m sorry for doubting You.”
As I was reading Adopted for Life by Russell Moore, the issue came up again, and that one lyric was the background track as I read. Dr. Moore shared about a moment when he questioned God’s justice upon hearing of the pregnancy of an immoral woman while his sweet, godly wife was crying over another miscarriage. “I think that moment was perhaps the worst sin I’ve ever committed. I knew far better, but I was calling into question the goodness of my God to me” (page 103).
I thought of that moment when I felt my character was being called into question. When someone doubted me. Me, a person who sins daily and still has a long way to go in the sanctification process. Me, someone who wants to be considerate of others but does, in fact, fail from time to time. That moment of someone doubting me hurt deeply.
So how much more does it likely hurt my perfectly good, perfectly loving, perfectly just, sovereign, righteous, holy God when I doubt His character? I give people reasons to doubt me all the time. God? He has never given me a reason to doubt Him. He always provides. He always guides. He always comes through.
Yet, when life presses in and my circumstances don’t align with my desires, I doubt. Fiercely.
I don’t want to doubt fiercely. I want to BELIEVE fiercely. TRUST fiercely. LOVE fiercely. SERVE fiercely. PURSUE fiercely.
I don’t want our adoption journey to be defined by my doubt in God. What a waste! I want our journey to be categorized by faith in the God who provides. I want to look back at a season (no matter how long!) when God stretched us and strengthened our faith and drew us into deeper relationships with Him.
And you know what? He will stretch us and strengthen our faith and draw us into a deeper relationship with Him. That’s what He’s doing. That’s who He is.
Baby or no baby, I have no reason to doubt Him. I know who He is.
Moment by moment, day by day, as we wait I will be reminding myself of God’s character. When doubt creeps in, I will take those thoughts captive and counter them with truth. Will you help me with that? When doubt is trying to reign in my heart, will you speak truth into my life? I know I can’t walk this journey alone.
I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable. …
The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made. …
The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down. …
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
The lord preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
Psalm 145: 1-3, 8-9, 14, 17-21
I don’t know what You’re doing, but I know who You are.