I am not a scholar, Bible or otherwise. I am not a person of supreme intelligence. I am a community college dropout, so I’m not even educated. I am a wife and a mom, but I assure you, I’m not really even good at those things. I am just plain old simple me. You may find my beliefs illogical. I may find yours illogical, so at least we would have a common foundation to build on. I could spend hours researching scripture to try to satisfactorily answer a question, and I have. I could lose sleep while praying that God would give me the right words to say, and I have. I could feel this knot of fear or apprehension in my stomach that I would say or do the wrong thing that could have lasting impact, and I have and do!
So let me just start at my beginning. I have said before, and I will say again that I am NOT and do not want to be known as a religious person. I have no desire to be a religious person. I don’t participate in religious rituals. I honestly think that religion is man-made. Religion, to me, leaves the door wide open for satan to make his presence known. That is quite obvious, not only to the Christian, but also to the non-Christian. Remember Jim Jones and Ghana (sp?). That was done in the name of God behind the religious facade. Does that make it right? NO! That list could go on and on, as we both know.
How do I “know” that there is a God. What do I base my “meaning of life” on? I base it on a RELATIONSHIP. My relationship with God. Can I point to a specific scripture that convinced ME that God exists? No, I can’t. I was born knowing that God existed; knowing that God created me; knowing that God loved me. I’ve never seen Him, but I’ve felt Him, and I’ve heard him, and I’ve seen evidence of His presence. Do I always understand God? No. He is so much bigger than my little brain can handle. Do I ever have moments of doubt, thoughts that I could be wrong about His existence? Yep. I have had many a conversation with myself over this very thing. After all, I can’t see Him. Is He really there? Do I run to my Bible and look for the answers there? No, I don’t. (I think I told you I’m not a Bible scholar, right?) Some people would think that I am wrong for not going to the Bible, but sometimes, when the answer is in front of me, and in me, I just need to work it out for myself. I get still and find a quiet place and just be. My logic would seem illogical to some, but just hear me out. I’m sure you know what faith is and I am sure that you have faith in many people and things. My basic definition of faith is that it is the belief in something you can’t see but you’re certain that it’s there. You believe a loyal dog is faithful and will love and protect you even though you can’t begin to know a dog’s mind. You believe that your spouse is faithful to you and your marriage, even though you can’t see inside your spouse’s mind and heart. You believe that a chair will be faithful to hold your weight, even though you can’t see inside the wood to know if there are defects.
So how do I know that God is there if I can’t see Him and don’t understand everything there is about Him? Again, it’s simple to me. I like simple because I am simple. I have never and will never understand how telephones work. My daughter tells me something about vibrations over lines or something like that, but both my cell and home phones are cordless. Even though I can’t see the reasons, or understand the technology, I believe the phone will work for me, and it does. For me though, the simplest thing that brings my doubts back to God’s reality is the air around me. I have never seen the air, even though it is vital to my very existence. I have felt the air move when the wind blows. I have smelled lilacs and roses on the wind during the spring, and smelled pig farm nastiness on any given day when I was growing up. I’ve seen kites fly and trees bend when the wind blows. Having lived through numerous hurricanes and one very memorable string of tornadoes, I’ve seen buildings demolished and simple pine needles driven like nails into walls and precious family keepsakes wiped away. I’ve seen and eaten the fruits of plants and trees that are pollinated by the blowing wind. I can’t see the air, but the evidence of it is all around me. Just because I can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. If I didn’t believe in either phones or the air, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there or that they don’t work in me, for me, and around me. This is my God in the simplest form. He is. He is in my heart, my mind, my soul, the laughter of my children, the caress from my husband, the warm tomato fresh from the garden, the earth squishing between my toes, the birds singing, the bees buzzing, the sun shining, the gentle rain, the booming thunder, the hurricanes and the tornadoes, the earthquakes, and the forest fires. Quite simply, He is.
A friend once inferred that I have an unfair advantage, (kind of like a golden ticket to Heaven) over others because my father is a pastor. That couldn’t be further from the truth. My daddy has always said that a kitten born in ’57 Chevy grows up to be a cat and not a Chevy. The same goes for a child born in a Christian family. What you are born into doesn’t change who you are. It doesn’t make you more or less, better or worse. As a preacher’s kid, I have seen a lot of good being done. I’ve seen God’s miraculous works: the cancer cured, the broken hearts healed, the “meaner than a snake” humbled and gentled. I’ve also witnessed satan and his demons at work: the backbiting, words spoken from both sides of the mouth (preacher stew for lunch?), anyone, the happy turned bitter, the prejudice, and all other manner of ugly and just plain wrong. To this day, I am always amazed at the many ways that Christians unknowingly and unwittingly allow the devil to use them. I’ve heard scripture that’s not in any bible that I know of taught as truth. I’ve seen evil done in God’s name. Satan’s favorite playground is the church and PK’s spend a large amount of time there, so no, I don’t think that is an advantage.
I lived in a pastor’s home and turned a blind eye and a deaf ear for many years. It was only as a young adult that I accepted God’s gift of grace for myself. Until that point, I played a pretty good game and fooled a lot of people. I’ve made gods and idols out of certain things and placed them above my God. I’ve taken God’s name in vain. I’ve broken the Sabbath. I’ve dishonored my parents. I’ve committed murder. I’ve stolen. I’ve lied. I’ve coveted things that others have. I’ve never committed adultery against my husband, but I am at 9 out of 10 for breaking the 10 commandments. In baseball, I believe I would be batting 900. I am not proud of what I’ve done, and I’m certainly not bragging. I am just a sinner saved by grace, and my forgiven have been forgotten
So, having said all of this, I have one simple request for you, if you are seeking. If you really are looking for that missing piece, do one thing, not for me, but for yourself. Find yourself a very quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Tell MY God what your thoughts are; what your questions are and then be still and listen. You don’t have to claim Him. I’m not asking you to convert. I’m just asking you to be willing to open the lines of communication. Ask Him your questions. Ask Him to prove to you if He’s really even there. If you have denied His existence, actually try to see if He’s there. I can’t prove God’s existence to you. Only God can do that. I think you have to believe in Him before you can understand things about Him. If in your case, you never believe, you will probably never understand, and there’s nothing I could say or do that would change that for you.
If you want more, I am here and I will try my best to provide you what you are looking for. I just ask that you remember that I am not the scholar.