When Jesus told the Samaritan woman that he could give her living water, her reply was full of doubt. We marvel at this story, because we know our Lord has told the woman the truth. But when it comes to our own lives, we aren’t always so sure. “I’m impressed with the wondrous things he says,” we think. “But in reality, they can’t be done!”

Where do our doubts about Jesus come from? They might spring from other people’s doubts about the plans we’ve made with God— their questions about where we’ll get our money or how we’ll live. Or we might plant the seeds of doubt ourselves, informing Jesus that our problems are too much, even for him.

What’s really happening is that we’ve confused Jesus’s limitations with our own. We look at our own abilities to determine what Jesus can do, then panic when we see the depths of our own inadequacy. “No, no,” we protest. “I have no doubts about Jesus, only about myself.” This is a pious kind of fraud. None of us are truly confused about ourselves: we know perfectly well what we can and can’t do. But we do have doubts about Jesus. Sometimes we even act insulted by his power, as though we’re hurt by the idea that he can do what we can’t.

If you sense doubts about Jesus in yourself, bring them to the light and confess them: “Lord, I’ve had doubts about you. I haven’t believed in your strength apart from my own. I haven’t believed in your almighty power apart from my finite understanding of it.” Then ask God to take your doubts away.

Wisdom from Oswald

Much of the misery in our Christian life comes not because the devil tackles us, but because we have never understood the simple laws of our make-up. We have to treat the body as the servant of Jesus Christ: when the body says “Sit,” and He says “Go,” go! When the body says “Eat,” and He says “Fast,” fast! When the body says “Yawn,” and He says “Pray,” pray! Biblical Ethics, 107 R