It’s sometimes easy to forget that Christians (along with most of the other religions) believe some strange stuff. We have faith that when we bow our heads, close our eyes, and send up silent or audible pleas, the maker of the universe actually listens to us. Think about that for a moment. It’s not like we have any definitive, physical proof. We don’t get a email notification ensuring our message went through. There are no automated responses promising our request will be processed in the order it was received.
Yet daily, billions of men and women from every language, race and economic class, pray to a being they cannot see nor hear, believing God not only hears them, but has a plan for them. It’s almost surreal.
And every day I join them, praying to a God who I believe revealed himself some two thousand years ago through a mid-aged, jewish carpenter. I know right, not exactly helping my case, am I? During the darker seasons of my life (I.e. high bouts of depression, anxiety, or that nagging feeling my life is going down the tubes), the question becomes larger and larger, is He even up there? Have I just drank the millennia old kool-aid for so long I don’t know what else to do?
Yet here’s why I keep the communication going: faith is not about me reaching up to God, because according to the story, He’s already reached down to me. It’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than my own spiritual strength, and I’m counting on the same message that has carried generations of equally broken people before me. Another famous doubter, a guy named C.S. Lewis, articulated it well. ‘Faith is the art of holding on to things in spite of your changing moods.’ Put another way, ‘Faith is the lifestyle of living your beliefs even when you don’t feel the warm tingles.’
And through the years, (yep, I’ve had these same questions for over a decade) God has made good on his promise to never leave me out to dry. He brings grace to cover my hurts and shame. He brings purpose and courage to love my neighbor. He brings community to encourage and challenge me. These are truths that can’t be logged in my gmail account or examined with a microscope, but neither can all sorts of other truth: love, compassion, loyalty, and courage. It’s sometimes easy to forget that as well.
As always, discussion is always welcome. Where in your life are you questioning whether God is listening?