There are few times in my life when I have taken the plunge on big decisions. More often, caution—and resistance to change—take the driver’s seat. Maybe at the root of it all is a little voice called doubt.
Sometimes we doubt when life brings us to a fork in the road. Is one choice better than the other? Which one will bring me success? Or, one that resonates with me most—am I worthy of this opportunity?
Around this time last year, I made a decision that I normally would not have made on my own. I accepted a job offer for a position that did not exist yet. But before I accepted, I turned it down. Queue in doubt.
Although I was ready for a change, I was not actively seeking alternate roles in the company. Until May of 2016, when I was asked to assist on some last minute activities for a project in Nashville. It was on the last day of that trip that one of my superiors sat me down and explained this opportunity.
The Other Side of Doubt
We like to label Thomas as the doubter, as if that’s a bad thing. Did you know that Jesus was tempted to doubt God, too? The devil tried to get Jesus to doubt God’s promises by asking to put His word to the test (Matthew 4:6). Jesus responded to the enemy by speaking God’s promises back to him. After that, Jesus began his ministry.
This exchange taught me a few things about allowing doubt to creep in. Unlike Jesus, my spit-fire reaction is not to recite bible verses. But when in doubt, we do have the opportunity to consider the different outcomes. This is a time to reflect, and also a time to seek God.
All things considered, doubt can actually be a time when we rely on God the most. Because we doubt, we have no other option but to trust God. And while we build that trust, we need to be seeking guidance. During the months I spent considering the new job opportunity (spoiler alert…yeah, they waited for me!), I prayed for confirmation from God, but I also asked close friends and family for wisdom.
When Doubt Becomes Big Faith
It is okay to doubt, but don’t stay there. In Genesis 12 we read about Abraham’s obedience to God’s call. God promised to make him into a great nation–Abram’s name would be great and all people would be blessed through him. Despite his age, Abram followed the call of God and traveled the land.
Shortly after, we also read about his response to a famine that threatened their lives. It was hard. So Abram moved to Egypt with his wife–a land God didn’t promise him. A series of unfortunate events followed this move and once again Abram went back to the land God had promised him (Genesis 12:10-20) when Pharaoh kicked him out.
Abram was sent away from Egypt and was able to see that God was serious about his promise. In Genesis 13:14-17, God promises all the land to Abram and his offspring. He was faithful to His word, and the trial served to reinforce Abram’s faith. His offspring will be like the dust of the earth (Genesis 13:16). What a promise! And what a big God!
Walk in the Promise
Even though my career change was not life threatening, it did help me see God’s hand moving me. After an initial interview, I had doubts that I was the right person for the job. My heart leapt with excitement, but it seemed too good to be true. It felt safer to stay where I was.
After about four months going back and forth on my decision, I decided to revisit this open door. It was then that I realized the job posting had been taken down (door closed). Like Abraham, I was stuck and knew I had to start walking into the promised land. I called the manager and she was thrilled to know I was still interested in the role. So the job was back up!
All this to say, God has a plan for your life. Even if you walk in circles for years, or spend a little longer than expected in the “doubt” zone, you will eventually walk into the promised land. So might as well walk in with big faith, knowing God’s word never fails.