Lindsey and I were talking about how our faith is weak. We spoke about how we don't see God in life today. A lot of Christians talk about how they see God "moving" in their lives. Or, they report of some spiritual experience that has left a mark on their life. We're Christians, we believe God exists. We believe in the Trinity and that Jesus is God as a man, and that man came and lived a perfect life, and he showered everyone he encountered with grace, and then he died to satisfy the balance of the universe. We believe that. We talk about it. But, lately our faith has been weak.
We're looking for signs. We want to see clear, evidence that God is with us, that He exists. Some would argue that there is none, and that's why they don't believe. Sometimes, I feel like God doesn't exist. It's interesting to think about it. My faith has never been my own. I was born into a house where Christianity was taught to me. Why would I question what my parents teach me? They teach me other important lessons in life. I shouldn't touch the stove, because it's hot. If I touch the stove, it will burn me. Or, stay away from ditches, etc. Children should trust their parents.
Religion is different. Religion is taught to children all over the world, and many children aren't taught Christianity. The parents believe their religion to be true, and the children believe the lessons to be true, and the cycle continues. So, what makes Christianity special? That's the question I ask myself all the time.
I don't want my faith to be fake.
I see this all the time. Fake faith. I pick on the United States, but it's true. I see fake faith everywhere. Faith that was just handed down from generation to generation. It has minor modifications as it's handed down, but it's basically just a copy of a copy. There's no genuine faith. Our faith seems to move as one, too. I mean, we collectively believe the same crap for specific topics. Our faith allows us to judge and even hate. I disagree with that faith.
This morning, Lindsey and I read a chapter out of the Bible. We read Isaiah 55. This chapter surprised me a bit. People always talk about how the God of the Old Testament is so much different from the God of the New Testament. Maybe that's true, but this chapter reminded me of something I would find in the New Testament. I read about a God with compassion. A God pleading for His people to come to Him. A God explaining why things are the way they are. A God being a Father to his children.
It was comforting in my waning faith. I understand the Father metaphor, because I myself am a father to two sons. My three year old can be super sweet at times, then other times I think he might be possessed by several demons. I was talking to Lindsey about this--I know what's best for Luke (my son). I will tell him to hold my hand while we're walking in a parking lot. Sometimes, he doesn't want to hold my hand. I know it's best for him and I will demand it, against Luke's will. I am his father, and there are some things that just have to be so that I can ensure his safety.
The same goes with me and God. There are situations I find myself in that I hate--I can't stand. When I'm in these situations I question God's existence. "Why the fuck would you allow me to be here, God? Why?!" These are probably similar thoughts that go through Luke's head when I'm demanding that he hold my hand. I know what's best. I have knowledge that is greater than Luke's.
This is kinda the gist of this chapter. God's coming to his people. He's requesting that his people come to him. verse 6-7 (ESV), "seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.". How crazy. The part that says "he will abundantly pardon". The chapter continues to talk about how God's ways are higher than ours, and his thoughts are higher than ours. v 11. "...it shall accomplish that which I purpose.".
This can be hard to swallow sometimes. And, there are people who are in real shitty situations. Are they in this situation to fulfill God's purpose? Do people die for that reason? I have questions, but then I remember that it says that God's thoughts are above mine. I don't think it's a cop out, but I think it's something to ponder more deeply.