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Finding God at Easter

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Today I had a conversation with someone close to me who is questioning the existence of God.  We had a long conversation, and it made me do a lot of  thinking.  How can I prove the existence of God to a non-believer?  The answer is simple.  I can’t.  Still, I know He is real as surely as I know that I am real.  It is quite frustrating.

The person I talked to used to believe in God.  Sadly, his church experiences have turned him off to God.   I wonder how often this happens.  Sadly, I’m afraid it happens more than we realize.  I read in the newspaper today that church attendence is down among teenagers and young adults.  I believe the reason is probably much the same as the reasons this young man gave to me.

I tried to explain to him that spirituality and religion are two different things.  One can be spiritual without being religious.  One of his main questions is that Christianity is so closed minded….believing that only Christians will be in Heaven.  He asked me what about Buddhists, Muslims, Hindu, or any of the many religions of the world who believe they are in tune with their Higher power, and doing all that they believe they need to be doing to get to Heaven.  What about those people who died long ago….or anyone who has never had the opportunity to even think or experience Christianity?  Is God going to keep them out of Heaven?

He also questioned the different religions and denominations who are always throwing stones at one another.  The Protestants and Catholics are always throwing darts.  Different denominations fuel over things such as accepting gays into the congregation.  Different denominations feud over things such as the rapture, communion (grape juice or wine), baptism by immersion or sprinkling, who will be the AntiChrist, how the world will end.

My response to him in asking all of this question was “Does any of that stuff really matter?”  I know that in my relationship with God, I focus on my relationship…period.  I don’t worry about church doctrine.  I don’t try and figure out all of the answers.  I don’t agree with everything I hear or read that the church says.  I even question some of what I read in the Bible.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t right.  It just means that it is beyond my understanding, and that’s okay.  When and if God wants to give me a greater understanding, He will.  The good news is that I don’t have to have a perfect understanding, or believe everything in order to have a relationship with God.  He is merciful.  He knows my limits, and He knows that I don’t understand it all.  He tells me “that’s okay”.

I think of  “Doubting Thomas”.  He doubted that Jesus rose from the dead.  Jesus did not condemn him for his lack of faith.  Instead He held out His hands and told Thomas to put his finger inside of his nail pierced hand.  In an instant, Thomas believed.

I wish I had all of the answers.  I wish I could pull out a hat filled with evidence of God’s existence, but I can’t.  All I can tell the doubter is to look around.  Look at the mountains.  Look at the ocean.  Listen to the laughter of a little child.  Feel the stirring in your soul when something touches you deep down inside.   Take some time to study nature…and look at the animals and insects.  Study their habits, their special characteristics.   Who but God could have created such beauty?

No, you can’t see God.  But you can’t see love either.  Still, it exists.  If it didn’t exist, people would not take such extreme measures to find it.  God IS love.  This I know.  I wish I could find a way to convey it….

 

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Written by cherylawilliams

April 1, 2012 at 3:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

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