by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 5/1/14

The story we tell at Easter is beyond belief. When we confess that Jesus is alive and at work in the world, we make claims about God’s love for us and our worth before God. Last week, Pam Durso preached about doubting Thomas, that disciple who would not believe unless he saw and touched Jesus. There is a different, somewhat darker, doubt than that experienced by this disciple. Doubt, the worst kind of doubt, I believe, isn’t when we wonder or ask questions about God. This deeper kind of doubt questions our worth or God’s love for us.

It is a bold thing to believe that God loves you. Redemption is a truth that is hard to accept for many people, depression can be the ultimate doubting of God’s love for us or our worth before God. This kind of doubt questions, not the existence of God, but the existence of our self worth. It changes the story we tell about ourselves from one of God’s beloved, to one of questionable value. We must take care to get this part of God’s story right, the part about our worth before God. As Gerard Loughlin puts it, “We are embedded in language, as language is in us. There is a reciprocal relation between story and storyteller. As I recount my life story, my story produces the ‘I,’ which recounts it. I tell the story by which I’m told.” We should take care in the ways we choose to tell our story, for it frames our relationship with God, with our families, with ourselves.

Singer/Songwriter Pierce Pettis always reminded me how to frame this thought. His song, God Believes in You names those inner doubts and draws a new perspective on believing in God and in believing in God’s work in, with, and through us. It flips the question, “Do you believe in God?” by reminding us that God believes in us, despite our doubting ways.

God Believes in You

When you start to doubt if you exist
God believes in you
Confounded by the evidence
God believes in you

When your light burns so dim
When your chances seem so slim
And you swear you don't believe in him
God believes in you

When you rise up just to fall again
God believes in you
Deserted by your closest friends
God believes in you

When you're betrayed with a kiss
You turn your cheek to another fist
It does not have to end like this
God believes in you

 

Oh, everything matters
If anything matters at all
Everything matters
No matter how big, no matter how small
Oh, God believes in you
God believes in you

When you're so ashamed that you could die
God believes in you
And you can't do right even though you try
God believes in you

Blessed are the ones who grieve
The ones who mourn, the ones who bleed
In sorrow you sow but in joy you reap
God believes in you