From "In Spite of" to "In Light of"
Updated: Apr 2, 2020
I confess that I struggle mightily with self-doubt. When I first started to take God’s prompting to write seriously, I questioned myself at every turn. Fear of rejection by others was a strong undercurrent, but I soon found that I was my own worst critic.
Starting a blog was a giant step out of my comfort zone, and still is! Recently I stumbled on some obstacles on the journey toward my goal of regular blogging -hence the lack of blog posts in May. The longer I went without writing, the more I doubted whether I should be writing in the first place.
But the Good Shepherd is faithful, even in my wanderings and doubt. As I read my daily “Bible in a year” reading plan, He used the words of Moses to get my attention.
In Deuteronomy chapter 1, Moses reminds the people of Israel of all that the Lord had promised and done for His people. The Lord had rescued His people from bondage in Egypt, had provided for His people in the wilderness, and had protected them, and was asking them to step in to the land that He promised them.
“The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place. Yet in spite of this word, you did not believe the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 1:29-32,ESV).
The people were afraid of what would happen to them in the promised land. Basically they did not believe God would do what He said He would do, in spite of everything He had done in the past.
Am I any different? Is my self-doubt and fear really unbelief?
I looked up the meaning of the phrase “in spite of”, and one synonym made me cringe – “in defiance of”. Ouch. When I don’t believe God, am I acting in defiance of what He has done in my life so far?
Looking back on my life, I remember pivotal times in which I had to trust and believe God, even when the situation did not make sense. When my husband and I were prompted to adopt older children, we had many doubts and fears. But the Lord, our Good Shepherd, was leading us to believe Him, that He would work out the details and provide the strength we needed. We believed God, not just believed in God, and took that step of faith.
Each of us face situations that challenge us to believe God, not just believe in God. Our Good Shepherd is so faithful to show us our “in spite of” areas, and to remind us of His faithfulness in our past.
As we remember what He has done, we can change from “in spite of” to “in light of” – In light of His word and the evidence of His faithfulness, may we choose to believe the Lord!
Dear Lord, help us to believe You, remembering Your faithfulness, trusting You each day. Amen!