God

From my earliest memories, I have always believed in God.

It is not a feeling. It is not an idea. It has always been a part of me. Something inherent. Something that I cannot deny.

Before reading any further, allow me to set the stage here. I am Christian. That is my worldview. This post however is not going to be an ‘in your face’ preaching. Nor will it be full of Bible verses trying to prove my point, except for one, which I will get to later. I am not talking about religion here either. It is simply me, sharing why I believe in God.

My belief in God came naturally, although I cannot pinpoint a specific time when it began. It was as though it was there from the beginning. As if there would be an empty space in my being if His existence were denied… a space that could only be occupied by His presence. It has always been a presence that is permanent, eternal.

I did not go through a major transformation. I was raised going to church, by God respecting parents. I did rebel many times, but it never changed my belief in Him.

I remember a specific moment in my childhood; it was in second grade, when a friend I was playing with said they did not believe in God. It stopped me in my tracks. It had never even crossed my mind. It hurt my ears hearing it. I was crushed… for days. My first reaction was not to question my own belief but to wonder how much it must hurt God to hear those words. It was so profound a childhood moment that I still ache today remembering.

When someone tells me the same thing as an adult, my heart still aches. As a lifetime believer, I have my opinions about atheism and agnosticism. Nevertheless, my opinions are far less important than the longing I have for a friend who has refused God. Yes, it is their choice, but in my honest opinion, I believe it is a choice.

I honestly do not understand why someone would not believe. Nor will I attempt to propose a theory here in this post. It is not my place. I believe that it is between the individual and God. Any sound Atheist would argue at this point that my last sentence is invalid. Sorry, but because God is so real to me, atheistic logic is totally illogical to me. I say this because God is as real to me as breathing.

Accepting God, through His son Jesus has brought me perfect peace. Not to say there has never been ups and downs in my life. I have had moments of despair, but underlying those moments His peace has remained.

God alone is not enough for anyone. God became human for us, so we could have someone to relate to, not some authoritarian dictator floating on the clouds. Please understand I am not trying to get preachy here… this is the core of Christianity. I have a relationship with God through the person of Jesus. Believe it or not, it is a possibility.

That being said, I am by no means perfect. I am the worst of humans. I have sinned (yeah that word is still relevant) and have fallen away from God thousands of times. The thing is, no matter how far I have strayed He’s still there… and because of my belief and familiarity of Him, I know that His desire FIRST is for reconciliation.

I have had both horrific and wonderful moments in my life. Who hasn’t, right? In every event; deaths, births, weddings, abuses, victories, abandonments, birthday celebrations, estrangements, hugs, broken hearts, new jobs, injuries or accidents and so on, He has not altered His being. He has remained a constant. He also is there waiting for me to call on Him. He is not a good luck charm; He is my dearest confidant who knows what I am going to say before I even utter a word.

I know this may sound crazy, but simply looking out the window reinforces my belief in God. I look at the sky, clouds, the moon, the stars and I am awestruck. I look at blades of grass, rocks, ants, trees, flowers, mountains and I am left speechless. Through the years in public school I was taught about all the scientific elements; the how, where, when and why they exist, but they never included God. It troubled me to my core. I was being taught to believe in something that did not include God. I could not. I rejected that premise. I could not accept believing in something that did not contain God. Yes, that is not scientific from today’s worldview and I am okay with that. It is logical from my point of view, because I have experienced God within everything in my life. I cannot deny Him.

Because I simply believe, then I simply accept the Bible as well. So many opinions about the Bible are tossed around by many who have never read it. I believe those that are critics of the Bible approach it as though it is a book among many books. To equate it to all the other writings of humankind is an invisible bias based on unbelief. I believe the Bible is divine, that it is God’s own words written through humans for all of us to use as a guide and comfort. Personally, every time I have turned to the Bible for answers, He has always been faithful to deliver an answer, whether I like the answer or not. Yes… ‘no’ is just as much an answer as ‘yes’ is.

It is so freeing when you stop fighting God. Accepting the person He is, then leaning on Him for all your needs is a liberty He desires for every human on the planet. The Bible is His gift to me and it is my guide to living free. So many friends I know struggle with this concept. All I have to say to that is to try it. Seriously, what is the worst that could happen?

As I age my understanding of God never completes itself. In fact, the opposite is the norm. That is what is so exciting about God to me. The more I try to understand God, the vaster He becomes. It is an endless satisfaction. In our finite universe, we have limits of understanding. With God, the more you dig the larger He becomes, and in turn you become filled with joy knowing that you have only scratched the surface of infinity.

I will end this with a verse. Most everyone knows John 3:16. If you have not read it, you have at least seen it on a poster at a sporting event. It is the one verse in the Bible that captures the essence of the Gospel message. But the verse I will add here is not 3:16, but the verse that follows immediately after, spoken by Jesus Himself. Why? Because many of us see God as this bully or judge, sitting up in the clouds, passing judgement and pain on His minions. I humbly disagree.

 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
John 3:17

– Bill Peterson

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