Just be strong in God.
Have faith in God.
Trust in God more.
Those are the things that my youth leaders have told me when I was struggling with my identity in Christ.
Doubt was something I was sure that I couldn’t do.
If I was doubting or wrestling with God, I was made to believe that, maybe it was because my faith wasn’t strong enough.
But, I didn’t know what exactly they meant by, be stronger. Believe harder. Trust more.
How? What are some things that I could do to believe more?
The answer would always be, Pray more.
But I did pray. How was I to pray more? What was my prayer to be, when the person I didn’t quite know who or what I was praying to?
Those statements above are good things to tell someone, but they are so … vague and generic.
What I wish someone told me was, simply, “It’s okay.”
That, you know what? No one’s perfect. No one has this faith thing down completely. That even as my youth leaders and pastors, that they struggled to, and maybe had doubts about their life in God here and there.
That there is nothing woefully wrong with struggling. With doubting. With questioning. That God is bigger than all those things. That God still loves me. And that they will be with me during these times of struggles, and also that God would still be with me as questions arose about my faith and identity in Christ.
That, it’s okay to wrestle with God.
In fact, wrestling is a close contact sport. You can’t wrestle with someone who is far away. Wrestling is an intimate sport.
When you wrestling with God, you’re not wrestling with someone who is far away and distant. Rather, you’re wrestling with someone who is in your face; who is uncomfortably close to you. So when you’re wrestling with God, it’s at a very close and intimate distance with the Creator. And perhaps, you come out of it completely changed; marked forever with the sign of God to remind you of your close encounter with God, much like Jacob.
Wrestling with God’s call, doubting God’s will in your life, questioning your faith, struggling with your spiritual life; I say that you’re not alone. I would also like to say that God is not far away when you’re going through these things. I personally felt that I could never approach God in times like these, but now I know these are opportune times to just to be honest with God, because not does God already know our struggles, but also that God is much bigger than them.
While, I realized that my last paragraph may sound like “Just pray more” type of answer, I just want to be real in that we all struggle with aspects of our faith; but that doesn’t make us any less of a child of God.