What do you do when doubt threatens to extinguish your faith? When you’re tethered to God by gossamer thread, invisible strands of grace that you can neither see nor feel? When life’s circumstance is earthquake beneath your feet?

  • job loss has forced you to distinguish want and need and now even your needs are threatened
  • a medical diagnosis, unexpected and cruel, affecting you or those you love best
  • a child who thinks the fight is against you, a not-yet prodigal you pray will come back
  • a church experience that has wounded you or church leaders who have disappointed

Or maybe your faith is shaken by the mundane of everyday loss and void, a lackluster marriage, a less-than-fulfilling job, unrealized expectations….

Maybe the very dailiness of life has made you weary, questioning God…or worse, questioning if there is a God.

There’s a remedy you might be overlooking…

Go outside.

Go outside with wide eyes and open ears and tender heart, and see and hear and experience the presence of Almighty God.

What are you waiting for? Go!

* * * * *

I struggle with doubt; I hate it. It shames me. It makes me feel unworthy to write for this beautiful (in)courage community. So many brilliant, accomplished writers and readers who are doing Big Kingdom Things.

Comparison is gasoline fueling doubt’s fire. Comparing yourself to anyone is dangerous; it can consume you.

And it’s sin — you’re in essence discounting the things of God.

When you’re comparing yourself to others, you’re disregarding who God says you are–beautiful, chosen, redeemed, loved, forgiven.

Mercy…I’m preaching to myself….

* * * * *

Could it be…could it p o s s i b l y be...that God allows me to write in this space because someone can relate?

* * * * *

I go outside.

I breathe in all of Creation in a single breath. I marvel, truly marvel at the millions of systems in place that sustain life on Planet Earth.

Beginning with the miracle of human life, my life–respiratory, vascular, muscular, neurological functions, everything that has to go right simply for me to live!

Seasons–what delight, this change of seasons! Each one, a marvel in itself, but now, we see Autumn and her glory! The chill of air, leaves’ kaleidoscopic metamorphosis, trees ablaze then stripped bare.

An anthill with a thousand tiny soldiers marching to their orders…

The spill and crash of a waterfall, a furious beauty to hear and see, and if you’re close enough, feel…

A seed, then a sprout, then a bud, now a flower! How we take for granted the phenomenon we call a flower! Look at them with new eyes.

A spider, master craftsman, spinning a home from her body, a trap for her prey, and a curiosity to observe.

Are you sensing the wonder?

When I go outside I step into a masterpiece.  Creation.   A gift from God to behold and enjoy, a conduit to see His glory ~

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
~ Psalm 19:1

When I take my focus off myself and seek the face of God, my doubt can’t help but fade. The refrain from an old church hymn strums the chord of heart and memory–

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Doubt cannot co-exist in the presence of God.

And though God’s presence never leaves me through the indwelling of His Spirit, sometimes I need a reminder.  I’m thankful, gratitude overflowing, for his gracious faithfulness…

And it’s always waiting for me just outside my door.

* * * * *

~ Robin Dance, PENSIEVE

And if you’re a parent of teens or tweens and have interest,  I joined Nester & company for 31 days, sharing my best thoughts on navigating these years as a parentIt doesn’t have to be a season of dread!


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  1. 1
    Carmen says:

    Robin, thank you so much for sharing your heart….I’m sure so many of us can relate – I surely can! This is just exactly what I needed to hear today….headed outside right now, to soak up God’s beauty, and remind myself of His sovereignty.

  2. 4
    Lisa H says:

    Thanks Robin! I needed this today as I wonder if I will ever meet a man who will want to know me and love for who I am today. As I bounce back from talking and texting with someone discussing a time for our meeting and then all of a sudden he just gets silent. No explanation. Its confusing to me even at 41 why men/people are this way. It threatens to bring back the thoughts of a darker time in my life when I made really bad choices in men. I can’t let my mind go there it will consume me again. I must continue to look forward and see all that God has put in front of me. As I go out this morning with my little dog I will take a deep breath in and absorb God into my lungs. I will open my eyes and notice the frost on the ground and cars and marvel at the beauty of those tiny crystals. I will look up and see the millions of stars in the sky and realize that God knows them all by name. I will hear the birds begin to sing and tell him-good morning. I will look on the horizon and see the sky beginning to change colors from dark blue to oranges or pinks and know that God has done this and each morning he paints a different masterpiece.
    God has a plan for me and I will have to be patient as I wait for him to disclose a piece of it to me. Its very hard some days to be patient when I want to have someone to share these marvels with.

    • 5

      {{hugs}} Lisa. Thank you for sharing your heart, your bruises, your questions. If God is who He says He is – and I DO believe He is! – then even in this season, He has purpose and intent for you…which is hope and grace laden.

      And it especially made me smile that you will see frost today as miracle; that image really spoke to me :) . Thank you.

  3. 6
    Kristen says:

    Thank you. what wonderful words to begin my morning by. thank you!
    p.s. -typo, should be psalm 19:1 not 1:1 ! i’m sure i only caught that because i’ve had my coffee! lol

    • 7

      Kristen,

      THANKS for catching that! I’d like to pretend I made the error to see if anyone would catch it, but the truth is I just missed a number. Color me impressed that you noticed :) . <3

  4. 8

    ahhh. the monster that is comaprison. how i struggle to keep her at bay. i love that truth you wrote – it. is. sin. thank you.

    • 9

      Kendal, ya know, I’m doin’ *just f.i.n.e.* until I engage that awful monster! I’m SO thankful that when I focus on Christ, I see EVERYTHING differently. (and it’s always encouraging to me to know I’m not the only one…)

  5. 10

    I needed this today. Thank you.

  6. 11
    Jessica says:

    That was exactly what I needed this morning… thanks for the lift!

  7. 12

    Sue and Jessica ~

    To God be the glory!! < – I love it when I mean that will ALL my heart!! :)

  8. 13

    I have been reading God in the Yard by L.L. Barkat— blogging about my experiences. I learned something coloring on the back porch, pulling up zinnias at the end of the season, and sitting under a cedar tree in the rain.

    I been challenged because there is new construction next door and I want life outside to be uninterrupted—but God even has something to teach me in that need for things to be just how I want them!

    My best days are spent in hiking boots!

    You have confirmed what God has been teaching me. When I am outside, I stop comparing. I get consumed by Him!

    Thanks for the (in) couragement.

  9. 15

    Wow, thank you! The evidence of God’s presence is evidence of His care! It is amazing how all of creation preaches the glory and love of God. So often I am too preoccupied to see it. I’m grateful for this encouraging reminder and am taking it with me as I go outside for a run! Thank you Lord for new eyes to see your wonder!

  10. 17

    One of the reasons I enjoy photography – it really makes me really look at God’s creation. I can never capture the beauty of His creating but I do see Him more clearly and more intimately.

  11. 19

    Amazing post. Thanks for this.

  12. 21

    wonderful post! i watch my grandsons (ages 3 and 5) two days a week. i TRY to show them the beauty of outside life. We have black crows that fly around us, and land in our yard. Their other “grandma” hates them, because they are “carrion”?. This grandma tries to show the boys the beauty of the black birds as they fly by, gliding on their gorgeous big wings. We have inspected spider webs, as long as there aren’t any spiders in them! i save pics and videos of animals to show to them. like everyone we look at the clouds and see dinosaura and frogs! we even watch as jets leave their white contrails in the sky. I pray that their eyes and hearts will be opened to the beauty that God has given to us. i am sharing this post with my friends. Thank you.

    • 22

      Sarita ~ yes!!! Your grandsons are SO fortunate to have YOU–a seeing Grandma–to show them the extra in the ordinary! Which makes me remember some of the things MY grandmother taught me forever ago. :)

  13. 23

    Reading this today, after listening to the song “Blessings” by Laura Story this morning, made me wonder something concerning doubt. What if doubt, the very doubt even believers such as ourselves, go through at times…are simply ways that God is letting this life be the very tool to point us to Him? That perhaps doubt has a purpose in the believer’s life…to draw us closer to Him in our moments where the darkness (which can be a place of His healing, if we keep focus on Him) can seem to envelop us disguising His ever loving hands of love, mercy and healing as ones of separation from Him? For perhaps the darkness we think will destroy us, in doubtful moments, are just us being held in His hands as he carries us through until we need to see His light revealed in the situation?

    Maybe…just maybe?

    • 24

      Marni,

      Ah….kindred :) .

      One of my favorite pastors once encouraged me greatly by stating that questioning God is not sin. To ask, to seek, to wonder was one of his ways to draw to him.

      In other words, I’m in your maybe camp. Beautifully questioned, friend. :)

  14. 25

    Great post. Stepping into nature ALWAYS puts my heart right where it needs to be. God is soo good like that. Thanks for sharing these thoughts!

  15. 27

    Perfectly timed post…it’s been a rough morning and I really needed to be (in)couraged today. Psalm 19 is one of my favorites…

  16. 30

    Thank you for this wonderful post that I very much needed to hear. And now I have that wonderful hymn in my head! :)

  17. 31

    “Comparison is gasoline fueling doubt’s fire. Comparing yourself to anyone is dangerous; it can consume you.”
    You may have been preaching to yourself, but here, in those little words above, you were sitting beside me on my couch and as a dear friend, telling me straight to my heart what I needed to hear. That is brave and sweet and necessary. Thank you.

  18. 32
    Darlene says:

    Robin, beautiful post. Very thought provoking and I love that hymn – Turn your eyes upon Jesus – that is where they always need to be. Thanks for a great reminder.

  19. 33

    So true – there have been times when I’ve felt really caught up in and overwhelmed by my own problems. Somehow being outside and talking to God really does help. Maybe it’s the change of perspective. It’s very hard to feel like a big mess in the middle of all that glorious creation.

  20. 34

    Awesome post, Robin! Thank you so much for sharing. Our ladies Bible study group have been talking about something very similar to this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I plan to share this blog post with the ladies next Monday.

    God Bless!
    ~Amy

  21. 35

    Thank you so much for being so honest! I just really needed to hear that I am not the only one who struggles with this… thanks.

  22. 36

    I can relate! Thank you for both Ahhhhh…. and Aha! moments.

  23. 37

    Wonderful thoughts, Robin.
    “When I go outside I step into a masterpiece. Creation. A gift from God to behold and enjoy, a conduit to see His glory”
    My day begins with devotions and then a walk outside to pray and see God’s creation. It grounds me in who I am and Who I belong to. Nature is a conduit to see His glory and His grace.

  24. 38

    So very glad to read this today. I am one of many, I’m sure, benefitting from this honesty. I am a doubter, too. And it’s hard, isn’t it, to be a Christian blogger and a sometimes-doubter? I compare — she has a stronger faith, she loves God more, why don’t I cry over Jesus like her, maybe I don’t really love Him at all, maybe I don’t believe in Him at all. It can really start to spiral can’t it?

    Thanks for setting me straight. And for speaking the truth, even though it’s hard. I am so very grateful for you today!

  25. 39

    I couldn’t help but latch on to what you were saying about self doubt because goodness knows that i am guilty of that. I am trying my best to overcome it but it is a struggle at times. That’s why it is so important to pray and meditate on the word.

  26. 40

    Oh Robin I am relating to your post but most of all I so enjoyed a heart dancing on every word you wrote. I was riding in a car for four hours today with clean dry crisp air causing my air to dance in the breeze…..God with His wind send it into our car to fill us with the wonder of smells, the wonder of the season. there was one point i wanted to get and run through the corn fields but health sense kept me sitting just enjoying the outside. yeah my sister your post danced, your are rightly named Robin Dance, God Bless you and your wonderful post

  27. 41

    Thank you Robin for such an honest and encouraging post full of God’s truth and love. I agree with your advice about going outside…it is magical and I am reminded about how big God is.

    Thanks for letting us listen in as you preach to yourself. Keep on preaching sister!

  28. 42

    Hey I just wanted to let the author of this article, Robin, know that this really helped me out a lot with my doubt. I was searching google for something totally unrelated to this. I was searching for song lyrics or something. Anyways I stumbled across this article and it blew me away. I had been struggling with doubt in God. And I believe I found this by divine purpose. I didn’t realize this was a website for women until after I read the article. But as a 19 year old man this article spoke to me and really opened my eyes again. And I thank you for that. That’s all I have to say but God bless and keep living for the Kingdom.

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