Grappling

Why do I believe in God?

Do you believe in God?

How could you believe in a God who allows such things to happen?

I’m sure these are the questions and discussions going on after the tragic killing in the Connecticut school yesterday.

On my Facebook page there were countless posts and pictures remembering the victims.  One in particular had me thinking this morning.  The original post was from a “concerned student” asking God “why He allowed such violence in schools”, with God’s response being “I’m not allowed in schools anymore”.  What had me thinking this morning was a comment made.  The comment was:  “we should definitely instill imaginary friends that people can pretend to talk to in impressionable young minds. That should keep the crazy away”.

Imaginary friends.

So, I was thinking, how would I explain to this person that I believe in God.

Now, when I was younger my answer would have been (if I was being honest), I’m afraid not too.

I didn’t understand that the God of the Old Testament was the same God of the New Testament.  I was afraid of the Old Testament God, he seemed mean.  To be fair, I didn’t really read the Old Testament in it’s entirety so I didn’t have a clear picture.  I only had bits and pieces of the Old Testament told to me.  Now I can see a different picture.  The God in the Old Testament was a loving God, and one to be respected, honored and obeyed, with consequences for disobedience.  Now I feel I have a clearer understanding of what being in awe of God is.

I also didn’t understand Jesus.  I had been given mixed messages about who he was.  I didn’t understand that Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit were one and the same.  I figured if my logical mind couldn’t explain it, that it wasn’t right.  I mean that was what I was taught.  I was told you couldn’t question God, he didn’t like that.  Throughout scriptures we see people questioning, and grappling with God, making God their own.  Read the story of Jacob in Genesis 32:22-32

These are just some of the reasons I believe in God:

Like the air that I breath and can’t see, even though I can’t see God, I know He is there.

I see evidence of God in creation and the natural order around me.  I like the details.

Even when I haven’t seeked Him, he has cared and provided for my needs.

The logical side of my brain is satisifed with the eyewitness accounts and testimonies records both in Scripture and elsewhere of the life of Jesus.

I believe He is the there even when I don’t feel His presence.  (I am really thankful for this!  Psalm 139:7-10)

At our very core, I believe we all feel like we were put here for a reason, a purpose.  I believe we have this “God-hole”, this need in us that we try to fill.  For myself, for many years I tried to fill it with other things.  Some were not the best things, some were good things.  Either way, that “God-hole” didn’t get filled until I sought Him.

When I realized that Jesus was throwing out grappling lines to me instead of spears of condemnation.  I grabbed on.

My life changed.

Do I understand how and why bad things happen?  No.

God is sovereign.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8,9

He is eternal.  He is the Alpha and Omega.  The Beginning and the End.

My mind can’t really grasp that.  Knowing all things…everything, before it happens, all the answers, all the plans, all the time.  He does.

For I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jer. 29:11

A plan.  A future.  This home is not our permanent home.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem  coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes,  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”  Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

He said to me:  “It is done.  I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.  To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.  He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.  But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.  This is the second death.”  Rev. 21:1-8

I know the end of the story.

The Jesus that lay in the manger, came to the world, knowing he was going to suffer a painful death.  He did that for me, He did that for you.   It is overwhelming.

Evil will not triumph.

Have you grabbed His grappling lines?

Let Him wipe away your tears.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  John 3:16

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6 thoughts on “Grappling

  1. The ways of The Lord are mysterious…I too would like to know why He allows such dreadful things to happen…I have no answer but to say that my Faith in the Lord God is my anchor..it holds me firm and will never let me go.

    That was a wonderful post Denise, on a very difficult subject but you covered it so well. The Lord will be so pleased when He reads that.. Bless you for your faith

  2. Sorry I haven’t left a comment til now, Denise – I’ve been sheltering my poor aching body from further stress – this latest shooting was just too way over the top… hope you are having a wonderful week-before-Christmas. My love to you and your family… Sue

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