One of my favorite places in the whole world was a little bookstore tucked away on a side street in York, England. My English friends all knew if they could not track me down, I must be at Barbican. Originally, it was a business that sold used Christian books to fund missions in Israel. I loved going there and spending hours just browsing through the wonderful treasures. On many occasions, I would just sit on the floor and read. For over twenty five years I would go there and see what I could find.
One day I found a great little book by David Watson, the Vicar of St. Michael-le-Belfrey in York. In it, he shares his personal struggle with doubt as a young Christian. He asked, “Is it all true or am I making it up?” Which then led to the question, “What are the things that cause doubt?” I have taken the liberty to re-word this just for the sake of space.
1. Temptation to doubt God’s Word was the first temptation, and the answer to this doubt is, “It is written.”
2. Disobedience, as a result of wrong relationships, can create doubt and even ultimate rebellion. I have found in counseling that most of the problems people have is the result of wrong relationships.
3. Ignorance of the scripture is one of the greatest reasons for doubt. If knowing the truth sets us free, then ignorance of the truth can cause us to labor along in doubt. Ignorance of the scripture can derail a believer, and this is why Paul spent so much time laying down unshakable truths to keep us from being tossed to and fro by every wind and doctrine.
4. Loneliness can be a very real reason that people find themselves doubting, because, as Christians, we are to be in fellowship with others who share in faith with us. I have personally watched individuals who lived lives of self-imposed loneliness. In this, they were the blame for the spiritual battles they faced. To isolate one’s self is to deny the whole purpose of fellowship. I have watched people shut themselves off from others, and in so doing, opened up the door to depression and despair.
Why did I enjoy this quaint little hole in the wall book shop which hundreds passed by on foot every day without giving it a thought? I knew the value the rare books held in the life stories of men and women who had spent quality time with God. I knew what the passersby did not know. I knew that in those books were pieces of the lives of men and women which had become the fabric of their victory and overcoming in Christ.
Barbicon is gone now. The march of time has swallowed it up; but the last time I was in York, I made a special point to visit the humble little store front. It was like attending the wake of an old friend. Thank you Barbican! For me, you were a part of making my life more effective for the Kingdom. My library is full of treasures that you once held and which now I hold in my heart and mind.
I believe in YOU!
Your loving pastors,
Cleddie and GayNell