“Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” - Luke 7:20

How often do our convictions play tricks on us? That is: how often do we doubt something that we were once absolutely certain about? Whether as simple as counting change or as important as our jobs, doubt creeps into our lives. When it does, we can find ourselves in the same place as John the Baptist in Luke’s Gospel or John of the Cross in his darkness. We find ourselves in desolation, seeking answers.

We are reminded throughout the season of Advent of the darkness and desolation that exists in our lives. The weather, the constantly shortening days, and the candles as the symbols of the season all demonstrate the reality that we await the coming of the Light. Though desolation can be a time to despair in being separated from God, it is also an opportunity for growth. Like a person in the dark reaching for a light switch, we may be unable to see God. Yet if we are willing to reach out, we may find that God was always there quietly calling for us to explore the unknown.

The fact is that living in doubt and unknowing is difficult. It is a scary way to live. But in this mysterious darkness and unknowing, we can open ourselves up to encountering the infinite mystery of God like never before. Let us allow our doubts to give rise to a God who restores sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and life to the dead.

Where have I felt uncertainty in my life? How do I approach the darkness in my life? Has this Advent season opened me up to a new way of encountering God?

Matt Keppel