Throughout my life I have read arguments for and against having faith in the Christian God – or any god for that matter.
Some say to question our belief is wrong. To express any doubt will definitely displease God.
Others say to believe without positive proof of a god is simply showing a lack of intellect.
I have always found myself in the middle.
I do not believe God gave us a mind and then did not expect us to use it. I do not believe that God cannot handle our questions, our doubts.
At the same time, to assume that anyone who believes in God without being able to “prove” His existence lacks knowledge is so unfair.
In this back and forth argument I read this week from the book “Deliver Us From Evil” by Ravi Zacharias and found this quote expresses so completely how I personally feel about faith vs reason.
One of the most startling things about life is that it does not start with reason and end with faith. It starts in childhood with faith and is sustained either by reasoning through that faith or blindly leaving the reason for faith unaddressed. The child’s mind has a very limited capacity to inform it of the reason for its trust. But whether she nestles on her mother’s shoulder, nurses at her mother’s breast, or runs into her father’s arms, she does so because of an implicit trust that these shoulders will bear her, that her food will sustain her, and that these arms will hold her. If over time that trust is tested, it will be the character of the parent that will prove that trust wise or foolish. Faith is not benefit of reason.
That pretty much describes my faith journey. Born into a home where I was taken to church every week and taught about God from my parents, I believed in the Christian God and committed my life to Him at a very young age. No questions asked. Simply the faith of a child running into her father’s arms.
As a young adult I experienced some difficult times. At the same time as these problems arose I was also attending college at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. In one of my classes the professor was advocating strongly that creation by God was not true.
I reached the point where I began to question if all I had believed all these years was really true. Was God real? Sitting on my front porch one night I looked up into the sky and said, “God if you are truly real, if what I have believed all these years are true, I need you to reveal yourself. I need you to help me out of these difficulties.”
There was no lightning or thunder or a great voice of God. But slowly over the next few weeks I began to see drastic changes in my circumstances that reason alone could not explain.
I also began to research my Bible, read books on archaeology, evolution and Christian apologists. Slowly, but surely, my belief in God was increased by what I learned. It was during the next couple of years as I studied, prayed and learned that my faith was made stronger by my questioning.
As the years have gone by and I have seen both good times and bad, I have also found myself running into my heavenly father’s arms and the character of God has proven my trust to be a wise one.
If you have doubts about God, do not deny them. Do not be afraid to express them. But do more than that. Read, pray, research.
But also don’t be afraid to be that little child and run into His arms.
He said “You will seek me and find me when you seek for me with all your heart.”
I have found that true.