William Sloane Coffin once said, “The opposite of faith is not doubt, it is certainty”. Those are pretty wise words. The average persons struggling with their faith often face doubt straight in the eye, and then beat themselves up for realizing that doubt is a part of who they are. They begin to believe doubt is sinful, or a sign of separation from “correct” belief, a sort of moving away from God. But this isn’t true. If we ever reach the point where we believe we have all the answers to all the questions and issues of our faith, we’re in trouble. Certainty stunts the faith journey, while doubt enhances it. Our doubts drive us to ask the important questions of life. They open our hearts and minds to search more needfully for the presence of God.
To have faith is to recognize we need to move ahead into the unknown and the uncertain, believing that God is there, somewhere in the mysterious shadows, whispering instead of shouting. Faith is not having all the answers, but realizing that having the answers is not the goal. The goal is trusting that the journey of life is to be taken, sometimes in the brightness of the noon-day sun, and sometimes in the darkness of the dead of night, with the knowledge that God is there, often knowable, many times remote.
It takes courage to be a Christian, and faith is the journey, not the destination.