Tag Archive: Faith

I once heard a coworker use this quote: “Only the truly faithful dare question their faith.” I have no idea who said it originally, but it’s an interesting idea. So often, I think people view Christianity as a religion of “if-then” statements, which seems to leave little room for doubt or questions. “You must believe this or…” “If you don’t believe this, then…”

Christianity, however, developed out of Judaism, a religion with a rich tradition of debating and struggling with theological questions and sometimes even wrestling with God Himself (Jacob)! The Psalms abound with the poetry of one experiencing life’s ups and downs, joys and struggles, each of which has a different affect on the mood of a Psalm. Talking it out (or singing, or writing) is the psalmist’s way of struggling with God and trying to understand what is going on around him.

I think that doubt is a very healthy way of strengthening faith. As my pastor pointed out, when Jesus appears to Thomas (yes, that famous archetype for doubters everywhere!), He does not chastise him or berate him for disbelieving. Rather, Christ shows him His wounds and tells Thomas to touch Him, thus giving him the very thing he needs to believe and cry out “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:29). Jesus meets Thomas where he is – He understands how impossible the resurrection seems. This gives me hope for those days when I’m running a little low in the faith department.

I believe that even in discussing our doubts and struggles with God through prayer, we are able to grow in our relationship with Him. Just as working through problems in other relationships can make them stronger, so talking about our doubts with God can strengthen our faith. This very honest dialog with God seems to me to be a rich way to spend time with the One who encourages us to “ask, seek and knock” (Luke 11:5-13).

© 2009. Annabelle Peake. All rights reserved.

8 Years Later

March 4, 2001.

That day, I was baptized into the Christian faith in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I remember that the day was incredibly dreary and rainy, but I was excited nonetheless. I didn’t know that I was going to be baptized by full immersion and so I had dressed up in nice clothes. Luckily, I was able to change into someone’s golf clothes (found in their car) in order to be baptized. It was a little ghetto, but I think it kind of suits my off-the-wall personality. I feel it’s appropriate that I was disheveled and in mismatched clothes when I came before God to get washed up.

Looking back, I don’t think I fully understood baptism at the time. I knew it was a public affirmation of my faith – a time to be cleansed of and forgiven for my sins. I knew Christ Himself had been baptized and that He urged his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” but that was all I understood.

When I came up out of the water, I was joyful and thankful – thankful for what God had done and thankful for the opportunity to be baptized. I was happy because I felt I had been officially welcomed into the Christian community and that I was following Jesus’ instructions.

Eight years later, I’m still deeply moved when I think about my baptism. Now, however, I have a slightly different understanding of my baptism. That day was not only a public affirmation of faith, signifying my faith to the community of believers, but it was also the day that God claimed me for all eternity. My baptism sticks with me no matter where I am or what I do. I can always rest, knowing that I have been claimed by God in my baptism. I can stand strong knowing that nothing can separate me from the love of God. That’s a powerful bath for sure.

Baptism of Christ - On the Baptistry in Florence, Italy

Baptism of Christ - On the Baptistry in Florence, Italy

© 2009. Annabelle Peake. All rights reserved.

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