Do you ever feel disconnected from God because you can’t tell Him how you really feel? I know that for most of my life I felt that it would be disrespectful to admit to God my doubts about Him, and even how unfair life felt at times.
But recently I read the story of Nathaniel in the Bible who seemed to have doubts as well.
The scripture says that when Philip, one of Jesus’ disciples, told his friend Nathaniel to come and see Jesus of Nazareth, the one that Moses and the prophets wrote about, Nathaniel’s reaction was “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:45-46)
Wow! That seems like a very disrespectful way to talk about Jesus.
Despite his doubts, Nathaniel went with Philip anyways. And as they approached Jesus, He looked at Nathaniel and said “Now here is a genuine son of Israel…a man of complete integrity.” Nathaniel then asks Jesus “How do you know about me?”, and Jesus says “I could see you before Philip found you under the fig tree” (John 1:47-49)
l don’t know about you, but that is not the reaction I expected from Jesus towards the man who just insulted him.
But I realized that God isn’t afraid of our honesty and skepticism. In fact, it seems He steps into our doubts and comes alongside us right where we are. And He graciously shows us that He is who He says He is, and that we can trust Him with our lives.
After Nathaniel’s encounter with Jesus, He declares that Jesus is the Son of God, the King of Israel.
Not much is said again about Nathaniel in scripture, except that after Jesus’ resurrection, he appears to his disciples at the Sea of Galilee, and Nathaniel is mentioned as one among them. (John 21:1-2)
Nathaniel….the one who initially insulted Jesus….gets the privilege of being one of the people that Jesus appears to after his resurrection.
I’m so grateful that my God loves me enough to meet me where I am, and continues to love me through my doubts and questions.
Don’t be afraid to be real with Him. He can handle it. And you might be surprised at how your faith can grow in the process.