Friday evening. After the working week I sit down among other service guests. My mind is tired – so empty and so full at the same time. I feel I would not have had the physical strength or the social capacity to come to services. My mind goes back to the events of the past week, the encounters and discussions with my friends.
It is good that several songs and hymns are sung before the sermon, and I can just sit there deep in thought. I listen to a song about the many things we find difficult to understand. I feel a lump in my throat. I also understand so little. The song continues about the fog of doubt that obscures our view and our need for a heavenly friend. The words hit a sore point in my heart, and tears begin to run down my face. I take my phone and return to my recent discussion about the beauty and the hardness of life with my friends.
I have so many doubts, and I am tired of doubting. There are many things that I know about and understand very little, and the more I know, the more I doubt. Doubts make me pause and ponder about my life. They may guide me toward good things or cause me to make bad choices. Doubts may cause anger and fear to block my mind or remove such blocks.
Faith involves doubt. When the disciples gathered behind a locked door, Jesus entered the room and said: “Peace be with you.” I wonder if I am also cowering among my doubts behind a closed door? It is so good to know that God’s grace can reach even into that closed space. Doubts often make us slow down and look for strength from faith, for an ability to see beyond our own mind and will and to trust in God. The moment when doubts fade away and faith shines brightly is wonderful. One can feel God’s love even under the pain of doubts. I wrote about this to my friend:
”I pray that God would let His light shine on the difficult situation. So that I would fear what needs to be feared. That I would rely on what is safe and secure. That I would not willingly build a wall against fear, but would trust in God’s blessing and the security of His protection. That I would be strong where God wants me to be strong, not where I would myself like to be strong.”
The most difficult thing is to pause when I need to be humble. It would be easier to find a roundabout way around the matter or to turn a blind eye to it. Sometimes I even make the mistake of blaming someone else for what I cannot face myself. But when I am able to confess my own weakness, I experience the mercy and love that give a purpose to my life. That makes me happy even in the midst of pain.
I am happy when I am surrounded by this love and my doubts. I am happy because, on my lonely watching post, at services and at work, I feel the peace engendered by God’s grace. ”This day has been a miracle. I believe even more strongly that God guides all things and lets all things happen. I feel calm and peaceful. Confident. I fold my fingers quietly and pray that God’s peace would come over us and would open the minds of both the weak and the strong to believe in His goodness. Even my mind."
I hear the announcement: ”We begin the services and sing hymn number 195. ”Our youngest, who is quite tall already, keeps turning around on my lap. The older children are sitting close to me and singing. I am happy that they have come to listen to the words of grace. Right here and right now, I have a glimpse of heavenly peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (Joh. 14:27.)
Text: Henna Kinnunen
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
You will find the original Finnish blog post here.
Kesän 2020 Suviseurat järjestetään 26.–29. kesäkuuta radiossa ja netissä. Seuravieraat eivät kohtaa toisiaan nyt kenttäolosuhteissa, mutta kaikki voivat kuunnella Jumalan sanaa ja Kesäseuraradion ohjelmaa yksin tai läheistensä kanssa. Ohjelma lähetetään pääosin SRK:n toimistolta Oulusta.