It's hard to convince someone God exists by using scripture. They don't believe scripture. So our only real weapon is our own life. Ultimately, our own depth of joy, peace and love in Christ becomes the weapon to fight with. Imagine that. 'Reckon that's why God tells us to put on His armor everyday?
My friend asked me, "So do you really believe this God stuff?"
I found myself...well...speechless, at best. My first thought was, "You're a Christian, you idiot, what do you think?" But, not only would that have seemed crass, it wouldn't have been the example God wanted me to present. Then I realized something. It's harder to convince a questioning Christian than a non-believer! They can fight back with scripture or just the denial of it. So, where do I stand in this battle? Perhaps a greater question than "why am I here?"
As we say in East Tennessee, "I hadda thunk on that." And thunk I did--all day and the bigger part of the night. And when I woke up in the a.m. hours tossing the question over in my mind, I suddenly felt very "ill-equipped." So, I got up, walked to the bathroom and splashed water on my face. The night light cast a yellow glow around my silhouette and I watched as water dripped off my nose. "Shesh, God. I'm speechless here."
"Why?" He whispered.
"Because, I'm not sure I know how to answer my friend's question."
"What was your answer?"
"Ah - you answer a question with a question. That's just hunk-dory! My answer was YES! I believe in this God stuff." What else would it have been?
"Do you live your answer?" God whispered. I had to stop and think on that one, too. Did I? Do I?
"I try." I said as I splashed water on my face a second time. "I really try. But I'm far from perfect."
"Who said I expected perfection?"
This is the thing about God. He talks to us with questions. Hard questions and I never know if there's a right or wrong answer. I suppose the point is to make me dig deeper into my own heart. Ultimately, that is where the answers to all the hard questions hide.
I remember a song we sang in Sunday school as a child.
I've got the joy, joy, joy, down in my heart.
Down in my heart!
Down in my heart!
That pretty much answered my questions. Sometimes God gets clouded for us all. I went outside the other morning and the fog was so dense I lost my bearings. Now, I've lived in this house for 23 years, walked on the porch, stepped down to the sidewalk bizillions of times. But this time, the path was so clouded I slid my foot slowly in front of me feeling for the edge of the porch. I was completely turned around and I felt as though I'd fall. Honestly, it was a little frightening. But eventually, I turned loose of the door and trusted the way I knew by heart. And Guess what?
It was still there. I extended my hand and began to walk. I knew the fence would eventually be there. And it was. I didn't sway off the sidewalk toward the pond (thank goodness, I've fallen into that rascal before, butt first!) I say with great conviction, that my heart and mind knew the way because it was the truth. The truth doesn't budge. Ever!
I probably failed my friend in the big question of life. But then did I? My hope is that the light of Christ does show in my example and that the hunger for a deeper presence with God in my life makes someone else salivate for taste of Him, too. You know how your jaw aches when you smell someone's grape bubble gum on their breath. You can almost taste it by the smell. Makes you want a piece, too.
Yeah, without a doubt I believe this "God stuff." And even when I've wondered if God is ignoring me at times, I've never questioned His presence.
What is truth? Christ is truth.
Why am I here? Because God wanted to know me. Because I WANT to know Him.
Is there life after death? YOU BET. We just can't get our heads around it.
Who is God? I would say, "Who is He not?"
So, for my friend, I pray God will lift the fog or push my friend off the porch to trust what he knows to be true and unchanging...the way of God...the truth...never changes paths.
I hope that's a good enough answer. I hope the example of my life is a guide maker. I am who I am because of the God who lives inside of me and I though I don't always understand His ways, I never question if He exists. Even when the way is clouded I know He exists.