Quote to remember: “Doubt listens to your heart, faith talks to your heart.” I also suggest you read what Dr. Al Mohler wrote about Mother Teresa by clicking here.
A book is due to come out September 4th of letters written by Mother Teresa that detail her decades secret spiritual struggle. They reveal that she battled desperately to diserne if God even existed. Conisder a few quotes from the book (See the link above):
“Where is my faith? Even deep down there is nothing but emptiness and darkness. If there be a God — please forgive me.”
“What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.”
“I am told God lives in me — and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.”
“I want God with all the power of my soul… and yet between us there is terrible separation.”
“I feel just that terrible pain of loss, of God not wanting me, of God not being God, of God not really existing.”
I would like to suggest that what she writes is so different from the struggles found in Scripture there is virtually no comparison. Below are a few places where saints were in difficulty and wrote about them. Look for the differences between what they wrote as compared to what Mother Teresa wrote… what you’ll find is significant!
Ps 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation 6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you 8 By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning 11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Ps 69:1 Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. 3 I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. 13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. 16 Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. 17 Hide not your face from your servant; for I am in distress; make haste to answer me. 18 Draw near to my soul, redeem me; ransom me because of my enemies! 29 But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high! 30 I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
Hab 3:17 Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. 19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Now, what is the difference between Mother Teresa and what is found in the Scripture? Consider just two that are of tremendous significance.
First, The heroes of the Faith talk to their heart about God while it seems from the quotes given thus far, Mother Teresa listened to her heart (See Psalm 42).
Second, NEVER ONCE do we find in Scripture the heroes of the faith doubting the existence of God or the certainty of His presence. This cannot be said of Mother Teresa… and that is significant!
Personally I do not think it is possible for one who has been born again… a person who has had a personal encounter with the living Christ… a person who’s sins have been forgiven and has the Holy Spirit living in them to doubt the existence of God! I do not think it is possible for a person who’s name is written in the lambs book of life to write the things Mother Teresa wrote.
CONCLUSION. There is a difference between religion and a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It is possible to do “good” things… in Jesus’ name… and still not be saved (See Matthew 7:21-23). It is possible to be religious, pious, a member of the church, adored by men, and not be born again as in the case of Nicodeamus (See John 3:1-3).
We don’t know what the final resolution was for Mother Teresa… but it seems to be from what has been revealed so far that she carried this private doubt throughout her life. Her public image is said to be 180 degrees from her private spiritual life. Which one was true? I suggest the private one was because those who know God are not one way in public and another in private (There is a word for that). If Mother Teresa carried the doubts she wrote about to her grave, then I think it obvious where she is today.
So what about us? What about those who struggle with depression, deserts, and questions about God now? First… I wouldn’t read her book! Second… I’d go to the Scriptures where there is hope! When I am struggling, I want to talk to someone who can help me… and that would be God through Jesus Christ.
“Everyone who seeks… finds. And to everyone who knocks… the door will be opened.”