Before Corban, I was different.
I mean, I still had no aim when tossing wads of paper into the trash can, changed outfits on an average of six times and have remained allergic to the thought of dairy products.
But something more significant has change about me since I’ve started college.
I’ve started reading the Bible.
Now, let me be clear. I was a Christian before Corban and I had touched a Bible. Still, it wasn’t until my Bible classes at Corban that I had to actually read through it completely without the ability to pick and choose what I wanted to read.
I stopped reading the Bible casually and became a serious student. I stopped reading the Bible as some sort of advice column and began to see it as the God-inspired love story that it is. I stopped my ignorance and realized how difficult the bible really is.
What made this change occur? Well, my grade depended on it. Everyone takes Bible classes at Corban. Before school, I was extremely nervous for this and by the first day of classes, I knew why.
Immediately and for the rest of the semester, I had to ask difficult questions. My struggles concerned translation issues, historical questions and sometimes, even God’s character. I was not only required but encouraged to take a leap out of my comfort zone. I found myself often very uncomfortably being the devil’s advocate in many biblical debates.
All this questioning had a significant toll on my faith. I was ashamed to approach God with my questions because to me, it revealed a lack of trust. Prayer became an awkward goodnight and a quick one-sided chat.
I recently found myself taking refuge in the squeaky chair of one of my Bible professors’ office. I had more questions. My mind had been racing all semester to figure this out. What was the Bible? How could I trust it? Why would God let me doubt Him so much? I was in a panic but didn’t know where to start.
I stood there trying to collect my thoughts. I promised my professor that I really did have something to ask him, I just needed to find the right words.
Maybe there was something about the way I clenched my bible, or allowed my heel to quiver off the ground that he could sense my nervousness. He finally said something and it couldn’t have been more necessary to stop my racing thoughts.
“Katrina, how big is your God?”
My thoughts picked up speed. Is that a trick question? Can teachers grade me on questions I answer outside of class? Luckily before I made a fool of myself trying to answer, he gave me it.
“Your God is bigger than your questions. You do not need to feel bad when you wonder and doubt.”
He smiled and I felt relief for the first time since classes started.
“God isn’t just able to help with your doubt and frustration, He wants to.”
I immediately felt guilty for the times I fell asleep in this professor’s class. I’ll go ahead and apologize for that and thank this professor. This conversation impacted me more than He knows.
I saw quickly how I had tied God’s hands. I had been reading books and having discussions about all my doubt and frustration but I had yet to talk to God about it. I had gotten it in my head that it’s wrong to question and in return, I was calling God insufficient or incapable of responding to my discomfort.
I hadn’t been listening to what He really wanted to say but instead had allowed the Bible to become a negative hobby. Why? Because it made me think. It begged for me to believe in a bigger God than I was comfortable with.
My time at Corban has taught me many things. I’ve learned the power of a mailroom notification to be an ego-booster or ego-breaker, how printers only break when they are desperately needed and how to nap during the time it takes a professor to take a breath. But more importantly, Corban has taught me to ask the difficult questions. From this, my faith has grown significantly. I’ve learned to love my God more sincerely once I was able to accept that He desires to hear my questions.
We must remember that our creator gave us thoughts. I have to remind myself that although sometimes I wonder, the Lord does not make mistakes and he knows that He made me argumentative and gave me a desire for evidence.
I can find comfort in knowing that I am not the only one with doubt. John the Baptist doubted Jesus at a low point in his life, Peter doubted Jesus, and the disciples all struggled with doubt after Jesus’s crucifixion. David struggled with doubt at times. Mother Teresa confessed the doubts and fears she struggled. My professors have struggled. Maybe you understand too.
I have a lot of questions for God. Why did God “harden Pharaoh’s heart” when Pharaoh wanted to let the Israelites go? Why does Jesus think God has forsaken him if He is God? Why would God create mosquitos? Just kidding (kind of). All I know is from the serious questions to the sillier ones, my first love wants to hear them all.
If questioning exposes truth, let us question. A faith that is threatened by doctrinal inquiries and evaluation of certain tenants is no faith at all. A faith that blindly demands belief, obedience, and overpowers the very inquisitive soul that God gave us disqualifies itself from being faith and more accurately falls under the category of a cult.
True faith welcomes questions; false faiths discourage and prohibit them.
Faith that is questioned is Faith perfected. We must remember that God is not afraid of our inquiries. Are we afraid of His? He is big enough to handle them. Will we be big enough to ask them?
I’m so glad that I chose a school that helped me discover a God that is big; Big enough to take care of us when we lose our jobs or battle health or relationship issues; Big enough to turn this country around; Big enough to reach a wayward child; Big enough to remove our doubts and fears. We serve a big God. Too often, we make Him small.
2 Timothy 2:13 promises: If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
When our grip on daddy’s hand gets weak He simply strengthens his grip. Our God is big enough to hang onto us when we go through a faith crisis.
Of course, we live by our faith. We are not capable of truly comprehending God but we must remember that there is nothing wrong with asking good intellectual questions in our search for truth. We are not called to blind faith but an informed faith by the Word of God.
God welcomes honest doubts and questions we might have. He is eager to reveal himself to us.
So, a lot has changed. I mean, I’m still obsessed with random YouTube videos, tell countless pointless stories with a vague plot and no climax and enjoy eating Doritos and Nutella, but my heart has been altered in a beautiful way by my education at Corban.
I may be the same silly girl with lots of quirks and questions, but because of the encouragement to ask difficult questions, my faith has a new level of depth and sincerity; My God is getting bigger.
Before Corban, I was different.