catch up on this series
part three of this series of questions is where i usually hit the wall, and this week happened to fall in line with one of the greatest spiritual battles i've had since i claimed faith.
as you can see, this should have been up on Monday. we not only had a busy weekend, but a few hiccups in the flow of our comfort and i basically held off on this post until i knew how i wanted to deliver it. what was prepared was no longer fitting, since waiting through Monday took me to Tuesday where i opened up myself in a way i had not up until then, and the wrath of evil had a field day with it. so i held off, edited a bit, and i'm here today, ready to attack the question with confidence.
because, you know, even as a Christian it is ok to have doubts
the question of "How?" is still so deeply ingrained in my thought process that i have become the kind of believer that still researches and questions, often. some days i feel strong and other days i feel the hot breath of the enemy as he hovers, and waits for me to doubt just enough to fall.....
but not this time, my old friend
so how is this all possible? really?
how can we believe that the entire world was created in seven days when science has "proven" it to be billions of years old?
how can we have faith in a benevolent God now when the oldest writings about Him describe entire cities flattened with rage and fire?
how can we trust that He wants our best when we suffer from depression, anger, jealousy and fear?
how can we lean on His mercy when a tornado rips a path of destruction through not one but two elementary schools, carrying a couple dozen sweet babes away from their broken parents?
we can believe, have faith and trust in the Lord because He has never changed, not once. all through the story of Creation is one promise after another, one prophecy coming more true with each time it was spoken of, and one day closer to the final judgment He intended for on day zero. God does not create bad people, inflict illness or pain, or send storms to cities.
(don't you dare comment and recite a verse from Job. just don't..)
God cries with us, and mourns for us. God has the wicked one on a short leash, and holds the victory of eternity for us all.. waiting until the time is right.
in my short time on earth i've experienced virtually nothing compared to many, but in my own heart it was the worst. we learn from what we take part in, and when a moment lays its very real presence on us, good or bad, it becomes our reality. my reality, as painful as a few moments were, is full of miracles too. there are moments i review now and see that i couldn't possibly have made it out by chance. once, twice maybe.. but not several. i pretty much walked on glass just to test the thickness of my skin and where i should have been shredded i was left whole. it took me a long time to accept it, but those moments were not the result of luck. they were guided, held up and protected by God.
i can't prove this, but i can't prove the power of, say, the wind, either. it's invisible, and i only know it's there because of its effect on things we can see. applying this same logic to faith, well, why can't i justify an invisible God by the way visible things are changed by Him?
if i may dwell on the same analogy, it's clear that the wind effects things the same way. trees and high grasses bow, waves grow, currents run, and weathervanes change, all in the same direction no matter what kind of structure they are fixed to. i believe the same goes for the Holy Spirit.
the Bible is one of the most (if not the most) controversial pieces of literature we have. stories, parables, songs and biographies grace thousands of pages of a book in which the underlying theme is one of creation, wrath and redemption through grace. now everyone reads it differently, yes, but the results are always the same. people find healing, peace, joy, improvement, and compassion. people learn new ways of living and loving. people overcome old ways, and create new lives. the Bible does not tell anyone exactly how to live, but rather gives guidelines of how to honor one another, praise our Creator and manipulate the old pains into something beautiful.
different interpretation and yet,
the results are as uniform as golden grass in an open field,
beckoning to the strong summer wind.
i found God at the end of a road so broken i was left with no other choice than to step out onto something new. i have no doubt that i was guided and protected by the Holy Spirit, and i have absolutely no doubt that it was in perfect timing.
yes, it is hard to hold this faith as i watch others around me suffer. i wonder, "why am i left to survive and thrive while others never get the chance?" it is something that humbles me, though, whether i show it or not.
most convincing for me is that, the means to knowing faith is not described in the Bible, but is simply written as a direct result of having accepted Jesus. it would be like saying that we could read a book on surviving cancer and own that feeling as if it really happened to us. we all know this is not true. we couldn't possibly own a feeling unless the stimulus that causes it was inflicted on us. it takes cancer to become a survivor. it takes wind to press trees into submission. and it takes Jesus to know the heart of God.
the "how" is in the faith step we take on the first day we accept Jesus.
the "how" is in understanding that the world will hate you because it first hated Him.
the "how" is in persevering and protecting the sacred space where the Spirit lives in us.
the "how" is not the result of proof,
but of the ongoing life experience that can only happen
when you take your place next to Jesus and let Him carry you from there.
i'd love to hear how you have come to know more..
what are your "how" moments?