Sunday, June 12, 2011

Grappling With Truth

--
I don't ever remember not believing in Jesus.
The Children's Bible: The Old Testament, The New Testament
I always knew the stories in my storybook Bible were different than stories in other storybooks--these stories were really true.

I knew that Jesus was real and Santa was . . . well . . . real in a different way, and that Santa loved Jesus too. There was no "wink, wink, this is a fun game we're playing" expression when we talked about Jesus.

I knew that God created everything in six days . . . six evening-and-morning days . . . and on the seventh day He rested.

I knew that when the Bible said that God saved Noah and his family and the animals from the flood, protecting them in Noah's ark, it was really true that the whole earth was flooded.

Story after story came alive for me, and I really did know the difference between fairy tales and the truth.  I was abundantly blessed with parents who faithfully read these stories to me, explained them with love and reverence, and lived the truth of them every day in front of my brothers and me.

As I grew, my faith grew with me. I have been walking with God a long time now and while I am no scholar, I know enough to hold my own in most discussions of faith, doctrine, and theology.

As I got older, and my observations and experiences of life became more complex, I had many questions.  All the usual ones--why do bad things happen? if God already knows who will believe in Him, why does He create the people who won't? how will the world end? is God really in control? can I really trust Him with my life?

I vividly remember a crisp Canadian autumn afternoon in 5th grade when a girl tossed a cryptic comment my way one day, saying, "If only you knew."  Well, the obvious question was, "If only I knew what?!"  She proceeded to tell me, in the hushed tones of a secret-teller, that the world was going to end in 1975 and only the people from her church were going to heaven.  Since I was not part of her church, I was rather alarmed!  For several days, I stewed in my anxiety alone, until one night at bedtime I couldn't stand it any longer and blurted out my panicky questions to my awesome mom. She knew exactly how to share her Bible knowledge with me (the knowledge she purchased with countless hours of study time at our dining room table), and how to reassure me that I didn't have to worry because 1) Jesus said that NO ONE knows the time except God the Father, and 2) Heaven was for anyone who puts their faith in Jesus. Period. Scripture was always her authority, and my heart was filled with the peace of knowing I could count on the Bible to be true.  Nevertheless, I was secretly just a smidgen more excited than usual to ring in the new year of 1976 and to watch 1975 fade uneventfully into history.

I learned from that experience at age 10, that it was always best to ask my questions straight up rather than to worry that maybe there wouldn't be a good answer.  I still operate that same way. When things happen, when people challenge the validity of the faith I profess, or when I observe something that just nags at me, I go into study mode.  I become a hunter in hot pursuit of the truth. I read, I learn, I question further. I grapple with it like Jacob wrestled with God. I would never presume to claim that I have everything figured out, but I always come out of these wrestling matches with a better understanding of who God is, just like Jacob did.

"Buy the truth and do not sell it—
wisdom, instruction and insight as well."


Gospel according to Moses, The: What My Jewish Friends Taught Me about JesusWhat I love best about taking these questions to God and His Word is that in all my years of walking with God, I always find Him more than able to stand up to the scrutiny!  It's okay to ask God my questions!!  He can take it!!  One of my favorite books is The Gospel according to Moses: What My Jewish Friends Taught Me about Jesus.  Author, Athol Dickson learned from his study of Torah that "God loves an honest question."

Yes. He. Does!



Have you grappled with the Truth lately?
___________________________________

Joining Ann Voskamp in counting His graces for her Multitudes on Monday
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!
In the counting of the endless gifts I say with C. S. Lewis,
"This also is Thou!"

#551-565
551. Conflict turned to cooperation
552. Hot showers on cool days . . . and clean hair
553. Bougainvillea in wild profusion
554. The way we all help each other--crazy about my family!
555. Awesome sound system in my dream car!
556. A trusted friend to walk alongside
557. Having the alarm system of pain to tell me something needs attention
558. Getting it over with
559. That if I MUST have a tooth pulled, I have a dentist like Dr. Wolter to walk me through it with such ease!
560. A good book to rest with
561. The chance to be a helper to my kids on their big project
562. Herbal wrap, cold out of the freezer and the relief it gives
563. Good morning hugs
564. Sticktoitiveness
565. Knowing I'll feel much better when the pain goes away (thanks Daddy!)

Joining L.L. Barkat for:
On In Around button

Joining Michelle DeRusha for:


and joining Jen and her Sisterhood:



A heartfelt thank you to these generous bloggers
who make these communities available!


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