The idea of an all knowing god is not always so obvious, but not exactly hard to imagine either. I mean, everything had to come from something and if not a god then I should believe it is simply a random freak of historical events? So it is not such a big leap for me to believe in God. Now how about that same God that comes to live with his people in the flesh and then dies as a way to save them from his arch enemy? And then after that flesh-god dies, he sends his spirit to live in us forever, or at least until such time when we can live directly with him again. That seems to be a much larger leap. So why do I believe this?
1) On paper, the alternative narratives don’t make much more sense than this.
2) I tried to ignore it all, but I was unable to.
3) When I finally did contemplate the issue in a serious way with the catalyst to that contemplation being my two children, I had no choice but to believe in a loving God who loves me.
All the evidence in my life since that time seems to support that conclusion. Isaiah 1:18 says in part; “Come, let us consider the options…” I did not know that verse while considering the options but I find great comfort in it now that I have done my consideration.
Before I read the Bible in a serious way, my brother and I had a game going on of looking at the universe and talking about black holes and all that very cool stuff. I read things by the great minds – Stephen Hawking and Alan Guth as example. Dr. Guth is a physicist at MIT and he explained his inflationary theory of the universe. Suddenly it dawned on me. None of these people contradicted the verses in Genesis One. All of their work talks about what happens after the point of singularity – after the point when the universe came into existence. All of them agree that if something begins, then it has a cause. So they all agree the universe had a beginning and therefore the universe had a cause to its beginning.
That is all the Bible says – with the addition that God was the cause of the beginning.
That realization kept me reading the Bible. At the end I said to myself; “If that very first verse is true, then everything else in this book is plausible.” At the same time my mind was contemplating the universe I was playing with my kids in the living room. As I watched them play, being perfect in all their 4 and 6 year old ways, I was confronted with another conundrum. I had to either accept the fact that these two beautiful children were here with me simply as a random act that meant absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things, or that they and their lives had a purpose. When I combined this conundrum with the previous realization that the Bible did not contradict the greatest minds in science, I had only one alternative left, and that was to say that my kids (and me and my parents, etc.) had a purpose and that purpose could only have come from an all-powerful and loving God.
Since that time my life has taken many twists and turns. One of the worst was when I was at work and a person who had the authority to do so called and literally screamed at me on the phone that I had become a Jesus-freak and that they had grave concerns about me seeing my children unsupervised. I am a man. I don’t cry unless I am hurt badly. I don’t cry ever at work. I cried that day at my cube among my peers. Doubts set in. Why would this loving God that I just started to get to know allow someone to take my kids from me?
But what were my alternatives? Go back over the same things again? If God loved me, this would pass. And it did. I have other stories of God being with me and I have stories where I think he is distant and I am on my own. Sometimes I say things like, “This is all crazy. Why not just live and let live. I’m just going to die anyway.” But that won’t solve anything.
I am not unique. Mankind has been contemplating their origins and their purpose in the universe ever since they have been able to think. We have records of man doing this for thousands of years. I suspect man did this before they could leave a record. So I am not unique. I can choose to ignore the questions, but that does not make the questions go away.
So I continue to believe and God continues to do what his word promises – He is good to me and he disciplines me. He gives me direction and he allows me to go my own way. And consistently I find that when I earnestly seek his presence, he is there, “like” a loving father, and a strange peace comes over me that allows me to know this is real. And in the immortal words of my daughter; “Thank God for that!”