Why do I doubt God?
I am flying in the air, and I am literally watching the line of demarcation appear between the endless water and the shores of a new continent. If God can suspend the clouds in the sky and keep them from falling… If He can put a boundary line between where water flows and land begins… If He can keep the earth rotating at the right pace and angle, the sun descending on His timing, and the moon appearing at the divine call of His voice—then why do I doubt Him?
If He can keep the earth rotating at the right pace and angle, the sun descending on His timing, and the moon appearing at the divine call of His voice—then why do I doubt Him?Dr. Asha
What has God not shown me that makes me doubt Him? What has He shown me, yet it’s not enough to fully trust Him? I can’t keep myself suspended in the air, much less an 87.5-ton machine filled with travelers and their possessions. Nor can I keep another 200,000-ton vessel of transportation floating, not sinking, that instead stays grounded to the water, but also does not wander aimlessly into the heavens—yet, I doubt Him.
I cannot create a bed of billowy white clouds over deep, blue oceans, cascaded by the rays of a rich, prism white sun—yet I judge and critique what God has planned for me. Instead of going to Him with my doubts and concerns, I go to me. I go to my parents. I go to friends, the Internet, I go everywhere. Why do I not instinctively go to God? He planned it. He is allowing it to unfold. Yet, I doubt Him—as if He will somehow drop the ball on me. (Or what if I am the ball, and He drops me?)
That was a journal entry from March 13, 2020, as I and 25 other missionaries traveled from the United States to Peru. If you’ve considered the timing, this was right as the coronavirus had spread in Asia and Europe and was [not so] slowly making its way to the US. Eight hours later, we landed in what seemed like a different world. Not because we were in another country, but because we were in the panic of a pandemic.
Rules and policies for entering the country of Peru changed just hours before we landed. The flight crew barely knew what to expect. Before being permitted to de-board the plane, we filled out health-related forms and awaited further instructions. As each of us exited the plane, we were immediately met by a fully gowned, gloved, and masked health professional with a thermometer gun. If our temperature was satisfactory, we could then proceed up the ramp to a holding area where hundreds of others waited to go through customs.
I want to pause here for context. This was my second mission trip to Peru. In 2018, our group deboarded the plane, paused in the terminal for a group photo, and went through customs in a matter of minutes. Now in 2020, deboarding alone had taken at least one hour.
We stayed in the holding area for another hour or so along with other passengers from our flight and other flights that had landed before us. Then we snaked through the Six Flags-esque stanchions and retractable belts for another three hours until we finally made it to the customs agent. By now it was midnight, and it would take another hour or so by charter bus to travel from the airport in Lima, Peru to the mountainous region of Jicamarca.
Our visit to Peru was supposed to last 10 days. We had plans to construct youth athletic fields; perform maintenance and beautification on neighborhood buildings; host clinics on stress, blood pressure, first aid, nutrition, and chiropractic; assist and lead devotionals and worship services; and volunteer wherever needed. We also planned to tend to projects we had completed a couple of years prior. Needless to say, these plans changed. By our second day, the Peruvian government announced that it was closing its borders due to the increase in COVID-19 (then called “novel coronavirus”) cases. No going out, and no coming in.
As the days passed, the rules became more and more stringent. The police and army presence in the streets resembled wartime. No one was permitted to leave their own property, visits to the market were restricted, and supplies across the country were rationed. While we continued to do odd jobs on-site, it was apparent that each person was toiling with uncertainties and fears in their own way.
I was sure God knew what He was doing. I struggled with understanding how and why.Dr. Asha
I had no way of knowing it at the time; but the thoughts, emotions, and mental space of that in-flight journal entry prepared my faith for the journey ahead. Every day, we faced the unknown. Would we have enough food, water, protection? Would we be able to return home and when? I was sure God knew what He was doing. I struggled with understanding how and why. The inability to fix the situation myself, to construct my own solution, to be the superhero in my own story—this vulnerability tested my faith and my patience. It also brought me closer to God.
If you are in a similar space in your journey, a space with no definitive next steps, no clear path, or no way out, I invite you to be honest about it. Record your honest reflections by pen or by voice, and let God know how you feel. I did not know that a journal entry written before landing in a pandemic, would set the tone for my testimony. Neither do you know how your honest reflections with God today will become the key to your way out tomorrow or even years down the road. Be vulnerable, be afraid, be open. Be watchful, be attentive, believe. If you would like some guidance for your time in reflection, I invite you to grab your copy of Reflection: Women’s Wellness Journal today. Between the sun, the clouds, and the sea, reflect on how God is placing you in His story.