Friday, November 7, 2008

Too little faith

It is difficult for me to write about my faith in God. Why? On one day, it is lacking. I study science, and I am more unsure all the time what to think about the beginnings of the world. On another day, I don't want the stereotypes of Christians, God, or the Bible to turn you off to reading or considering. On yet another day, I am sure that something I read in the Bible impresses powerfully on my heart, and yet am also aware how absurd it sounds that a God in heaven could really have left us a spiritually alive book. I long to have an unshakable confidence and faith in my God, but I don't.

Today is a day where my faith falters, and yet God's words somehow encourage my heart. Two of Jesus' good friends, Peter and Thomas, watched a real life flesh-and-blood Jesus for three years. They saw his miraculous healings, heard the first-person version of the Jesus' words. While Jesus stood trial, just hours before he would be killed, Peter denied that he knew Jesus, that he'd ever been with him. Once, twice, three times, all within around two hours, he did this with Jesus only around a stone's throw away. Just before that, Jesus himself cried out in prayer - more or less - Father, please don't make me go through with this! Almost nothing about that makes sense to me. Just a bit later, as he was dying, he called out, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" Thomas, well, he is forever known as "doubting Thomas" - and all because he wouldn't believe the rumors that Jesus was resurrected until he saw him for himself. Not that unreasonable, really.

In these three people, who had much more real experiences with God than I have, I see embarrassment, fear, despair, loneliness, doubt. Their faith failures and struggles happened. I identify with that. Their faith failures and struggles were also not the end of the story of how God used them.

Jesus said this to Peter, knowing that Peter would deny him, but before it happened. "...Stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat. Simon (Peter), I've prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out [that your faith would not fail]. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start." Luke 22:31-32

Jesus, pray that for me.


Don said...

"Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief." Is still a good prayer.

Disparites in belief systems can be tolerated: it's called dis-equilibrium. Science and faith both have their anomalies.

Go figure.

Dina said...

I love the book The Case for Christ. One of the chapters that really hit home for me was the way that what we now know of science backs up the details that were described in Jesus' crucifixion although they were written so long before. It was a powerful moment for me when I read it while in the hospital on bedrest, worrying about the suffering of my own unborn baby. Enjoying your posts!