God the Father sent his Son, Jesus, to pay the debt for my sin so that the fellowship between us is reconciled. Because I am then considered one of God’s children, I will then be shown mercy and no longer receive the punishment I deserve for my sin (eternal damnation in hell), but will live all eternity in heaven with the triune God when my earthy body dies and my soul leaves this earth.
Those words are a lot to fit into a brain…. even more to fit into a mouthful. Believe it or not, it is simple enough to explain it to a child. I was “saved” when I was 5. Christians use words that the general public aren’t familiar with all the time and the words roll off of our tongues before we even think about trying to explain them. I grew up in church. I grew up in Christian school. My parents sacrificed and worked hard and I have no idea how they came up with enough money to put me and my 2 brothers through years and years of private, Christian school. We lived in Milwaukee and the Milwaukee area for our entire childhood and I have no idea what kind of childhood I would have had if we would have had to go to public school. I cannot find enough words to thank my parents for all the hours worked and the dollars paid to those schools. The education that I received was more than priceless. If I had the money, my children would have also gone to a private, Christian school. But that was not in the cards.
So I spent my life immersed in Christian school during the week and church on the weekends. Don’t forget Wednesday night church and activities on Saturdays! I lived and breathed the Bible. We were taught to memorize verse after verse. Certain verses we could recite for temptations and certain verses were for soul winning and then others were for prayers. Some books of the Bible were for reading stories, some for prophesy, some was just boring “who begat who” and some was embarrassing – like Song of Solomon. We had contests to race to a book, chapter and verse. Who could get there the fastest?
Somewhere along the way the whole purpose was lost. I still believed. The Bible was true… I knew it, but it wasn’t “real.” It wasn’t something that I lived. I stopped going to church because no one was making me. People just gossip in churches anyway. Preaching in churches are just boring anyway. Everyone is fake, I already know what they’re going to say. I had every excuse.
Until God brought me to my knees… literally.
I made a series of REALLY dumb choices in my life and as you probably know, the result of dumb choices brings dumb consequences. I found myself all alone, weeping, holding a laundry basket in one arm and a small child in another while a toddler stared at me asking me, “What’s wrong, Mommy?” I leaned backwards against a wall and slid down, sat on the floor and cried for a good long while. At that moment, I knew that I needed to pick a new road to walk down.
There were many pivotal moments in my journey, but one important one to me was one evening when I was standing, singing in church. As I stood there singing, there was a dialog going on in my mind. I was asking the Lord over and over why I needed to go through so many trials. There were financial problems, health problems, so many hills ahead that was causing stress inside. Tears were streaming down my face.
“Lord, why do I need to have so many trials? You’re supposed to take care of me. What can I possibly learn through all these trials? Can’t you just back off a little?”
“You silly child, these trials aren’t for you, I am strengthening the faith of your children.”
The words were clear and loving. I understood. All of these trials, all of the hardship, all of the problems that were in front of us and that I had to go through were not for me at all. They were for my children to watch how I handled them. I was to be a lesson. I was to be an example. I was to sit beside my children on the front row and narrate the scene before us as our trials unfold and point out our miracles. I was to have a good attitude and have them learn how God protects us, takes care of us, guides us and never fails.
And he has done that very thing. All we had to do was open our eyes and see.
That road was hard at first and there were stones, but like it or not, I walked it and I’ve seen the most amazing things. My eyes have opened to see miracles. Even better than having a front row seat to watch the circus. A few years ago I started a journal to write down all the miracles that God has done for us… all the things that are “unexplained”… things that only God could make happen. Sometimes we remember things from the past, sometimes we have new ones to write down. But the best thing is that their faith is strong, sure, real. My faith is renewed – more than I could ever tell you. I have seen God work so many times when I have seen a way out of the box I find myself in and just when I start to think there may be no solution, God gives the most perfect solution that is better than any human could imagine. My children’s faith is just as strong as mine – but they are only children yet… they have their whole life ahead of them. They are young, and fresh, and new. When I was young, I don’t know that I could have named anything to prove my faith. But my children – if you would ask – would never stop talking… for they have seen God work before their very eyes. God is real. God is alive. GOD IS ALIVE!
And that is my faith.
I respect that you might not share my faith. Sometimes I might not be so bold to say, but some day you will know that my God is real, for everyone will some day bow before Him.
Just because you cannot see wind, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Just because you say you don’t believe in the Creator doesn’t mean that he isn’t real. He is very much alive and real and He loves all mankind and would love a personal relationship with you. I will pray for you. Do you have any questions? If I can’t answer them, I can find someone who can.