Have you ever said or written something and thought to yourself (with all due humility, of course), "Wow, that is really good!" Has your next thought ever been, "Now, what does that mean?"
I had one of those moments in lectionary group yesterday morning. As we discussed the interaction between Jesus and Martha, Mary, Lazarus, and the crowd I said, "The strength of our faith leads to the depth of our doubts."
TKT echoed the thoughts bouncing around my head, "That's good, but what does it mean?" he asked.
I think what it means is that when we put our whole trust in Jesus we expect him to act a certain way. Take the crowd, for example, they see Jesus weeping and ask, "couldn't this guy, who made a blind man see, stop his friend from dying?"
This is a believing crowd. They've heard stories of Jesus' signs. Some of them have probably been witness to one or two of them, and they know what Jesus is capable of. They expect that if he could save lives, wouldn't he choose to save those he loves? Family, friends, favorite barber - these folks should be on Jesus' short list of folks who won't die.
Their faith, however, leads to their doubts. When Jesus doesn't act like they think he should, they begin to wonder about his plan, his abilities, and maybe even the God that he represents.
You probably know what that's like. I know I do. It is that old law of momentum. When life is rolling along well, I begin to expect it to stay that way, and when it doesn't, my first instinct is to get irked at the Creator of the Universe for making things happen the way they did. "Why me, O Lord, why me?"
The good news, of course, is that our faith calls us up from the depth of our doubts, and new life begins, yet again. Sometimes multiple times in the same day (hour, minute), and sometimes, we're blessed with another long lasting smooth ride.